No, not that kind of crown. While it would be nice to be royally crowned, usually when your dentist tells you that you need a crown, it’s not because you’re becoming royalty (though we won’t stop you from thinking that!). A crown is often used in conjunction with other dental procedures. In this post, we go into depth about what a crown is and why you may need one.

What is a crown?

A dental crown, also known as a dental cap, is a fake “shell”.  that goes on top of a real tooth. A crown is placed on top of a tooth that is reduced and permanently fixed in place using high-strength cements. A crown can be made of a variety of materials, including porcelain, zirconia, ceramic, and more. Dental crowns are used to replace and refresh the top part of a tooth so it can be used to continue normal daily use. Most crowns are so well made that the average person cannot tell it is not a natural tooth.

When is a crown needed?

Dental crowns are necessary when a big part of a tooth is decayed past the point of needing a filling. Dental crowns are used to replenish the structure of a tooth so you can continue to use it without fear of breaking the rest of the tooth. Dental crowns are often used after a root canal, to strengthen the tooth. A dental crown would then be placed on top to ensure the structure of the tooth doesn’t fail under normal wear and tear. A dental crown can typically last about 10-15 years.

What’s the difference between a filling and a crown?

Imagined version of a construction site installing a crown on a tooth

A filling happens when there is a cavity in the tooth that can be cleared of decay and filled with a material (usually composite) to keep the tooth’s structure intact. Sometimes, however, decay can be too great and impact the structure of a tooth, cause deep pain, be infected, or any other variety of dental problems that can arise with a damaged tooth. In order to keep the tooth mainly intact, the decay must be removed fully, then replaced. This is when a dental crown would happen. Crowns aren’t always needed for just decay, however. A broken or chipped tooth may also need a cap or crown. Crowns usually cost a significant amount more than a filling, so the key to dental care is trying to make sure that you never get to the point where you need a crown.

If you think you may need a dental crown, contact our office today! We’d love to meet you and help you with a dental plan so you can have the teeth you’ve always wanted.