What Is A Dental Crown?

Dr. Reza Written by Dr. Reza Khazaie

Dental Crown: A Tooth Restoration Option

What is Dental Bonding?

What is a dental crown?

The use of dental crowns has become increasingly common, in much the same way that fillings and braces are prescribed. A dental crown is used by more than 15 million Americans. A dental crown is a restoration used to protect a damaged or decayed tooth.

A tooth’s enamel protects it, making it one of the strongest substances in the body. Over time, the enamel of the tooth can become damaged depending on how it is maintained. This damage often occurs as a result of constant use, dental decay, and mouth and teeth injuries.

Dental crowns help restore tooth shape, strength levels, aesthetics, size, and proper alignment.

Anatomy of a Tooth - Cavities

What is a dental crown?

Dental crowns are also known and commonly referred to as “caps” that can be customized to match the shape of your teeth. Restorations protect what’s left of decayed and damaged teeth and give patients a more aesthetic and functional appearance.

Dental Crown Benefit: Longevity

The dental crown completely encases the visible tooth portion above the gum line. For this to be achieved, the decayed or damaged tooth must be shaped appropriately in order for the crown to be fitted expertly on top.

Dental crowns are fixed prostheses, which means they are permanently cemented onto the reshaped tooth and can only be removed by a dentist.

Dental Implant vs Dental Crown vs. Dental Veneer

Why do I need a dental crown?

A crown protects damaged or decayed teeth from further damage. As a result, there will be no continual risk of damage or decay causing more dental problems later on. There are, however, other factors that determine whether a dental crown is needed:

  • Protect and restore a previously weakened and worn-down tooth
  • Place a dental crown atop a surgically inserted dental implant
  • After filling due to decay with not much tooth remaining, a crown will be used
  • Can be used to hold together a bridge and attach it properly
  • Used to cover a tooth that has undergone root canal treatment
  • Help restore aesthetics to stained, discolored, or misshapen teeth (usually for cosmetic purposes only)

When would I need a 3/4 crown or onlay?

Inlays and Onlays

Unlike traditional dental crowns, onlays and 3/4 crowns, also known as partial crowns or indirect filings, do not cover as much of your tooth. If you have a solid tooth structure, you may be able to get an onlay or 3/4 crown. This approach is considered more conservative than prepping and covering the area fully with a crown. This is because a procedure is required to essentially remove all of the problem and affected area to make sure a full dental crown will properly fit. With an onlay or ¾ crown, only the part of the tooth that was affected is removed and restored.

Essentially, this treatment option is for those whose teeth aren’t damaged enough for a full crown but are damaged too much for a simple filling.

Dental onlay - Concord Dentist

Complete Guide to Dental Crowns

Discover additional information on dental crowns. Check out Dr. Reza’s comprehensive guide on dental crowns, covering various important topics.

  • When you might need a dental crown
  • Benefits of dental crowns
  • 4 types of dental crowns
  • Preparing for a dental crown
  • Inlays, Onlays, and Overlays
  • Why you should consider dental crowns
  • Determining if a partial crown is right for you
  • and more!