Dental crowns are indeed one of the most common and versatile of dental treatments. Some of the reasons why you may require a crown are:
- After a root canal
- Severe decay (bad Cavity)
- Severe Fracture (broken tooth)
Think of it as a medieval armor. Like an armor, it helps protect the tooth from the external environment. However, it is not invincible. Even with a crown, the residual tooth structures may be damaged. Usually, crowns fail due to leakage along the tooth-crown seal, fracture or dislodgement.
Common materials used for crown treatment includes glass-crystal, porcelain fused to metal and all metal.
For posterior (back) teeth, all-metal crowns are the most optimal. We often recommend an all gold crown. Gold being a noble metal is biocompatible and very tolerant to forces. I have had countless patients resist the gold concept to only fall in love with their gold crowns. Yes, I am a fan of such crowns.
Tooth-colored crowns are also acceptable in all parts of the mouth. They are esthetic and could also be strong. Your dentist will discuss such options with you. Modern materials allow such crowns to almost be indistinguishable from regular teeth.
The modern technology of CEREC or CAD-CAM or 3D printing is used for the making of teeth colored crowns. This technology, which we use at Lux, allows most patients to receive their crowns on the same day, often in less than an hour. I have found these printed crowns to be accurate, esthetic and convenient. But keep in mind, they are not malleable like gold.
As always, the placement of a crown is both art and science. Your doctor and you will discuss the pros and cons of any such treatment.