False Teeth - Making the Right Choices

Questions About Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are used in a large number of dental restorations. A crown is actually a prosthetic replacement for the natural crown of a tooth. Each tooth has multiple layers but is divided into two components: a dental crown and a root. The root lies below the gum line. However, the crown is the portion of the tooth that is displayed when you open your mouth.

Here are a few questions and answers concerning tooth crowns:

What is a crown preparation?

The crown preparation is the way in which a tooth is prepared to receive a dental crown or cap. The type of preparation that is performed is often linked to the state of the tooth and the type of crown material that will be used.

Crowns can be made of a number of materials, such as metal, porcelain-over-metal, all-porcelain, gold, stainless steel or silver. Some materials, such as all-porcelain, usually require some of the tooth material to be reduced to allow the crown to fit flush in the mouth. Other crown materials, such as stainless steel, may require less tooth preparation.

In addition, teeth that have been damaged by decay may require other restorative dental work, such as a root canal or a dental filling before a crown is placed.

What is a crown margin?

A crown margin is the edge or border of the crown opening where it meets the underlying tooth after the crown is installed. This margin should be smooth enough not to irritate gum tissue or leave a large space between the gum line and the crown. If a large space is left, a portion of the underlying tooth will be displayed, and the crown will look unnatural, even if it is tooth-colored.

Are crowns and dental veneers the same?

A veneer is actually a partial crown. It is designed to conceal only the front portion of a tooth. Although full crowns are often used for their protective characteristics since they completely cover the natural crown of a tooth and reinforce it on all sides, a veneer is usually used for purely cosmetic purposes, such as improving the shape, size or color of a tooth.

What is a provisional crown?

A provisional crown is basically a temporary crown that is used to cover a tooth until a finalized crown has been prepared by a dental laboratory. A provisional crown is usually made of weaker material and is not permanently sealed to the tooth.

To learn more about dental crowns, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your area.