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What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental CrownsDental crowns have been around for years and have numerous restorative and cosmetic uses. The question is, how do you know if you have a tooth that needs to be capped and what kind of dental crown do you need?

One of the most common reasons for getting a dental crown is to prevent further decay or damage to a weak tooth.  A dental crown is placed over a tooth so it is able to protect the surface of a tooth and strengthen it so that it does not easily break.  On the cosmetic side, a dental crown can help to restore the appearance of a tooth that has already been damaged or worn down.  Likewise, if you have a tooth that is discolored or irregularly shaped, a dental cap can hide these flaws and make the tooth appear normal.

Dental crowns are also useful for reinforcing previous dental work in your mouth.  If you have a large cavity and need a big filling, there is a chance that there is not a lot of your tooth left.  A dental crown can act as extra support for the filled tooth, as well as a way to cover the filling.  If you have a dental bridge, a crown can also be used to hold the bridge in place.

While crowns are often used to transform or support adult teeth, there are also instances where dental crowns are used for children on their primary teeth.  Unlike adults, children usually get crowns for dental hygiene and protection rather than for cosmetic reasons.  For example, sometimes a child will have a cavity so big that the tooth will not be strong enough for a filling.  Instead, a child could get a crown that would support what is left of the tooth, rather than getting the tooth filled.  If a child is unable to maintain proper dental hygiene, and is already suffering from tooth decay, you may want to look into getting dental crowns on the affected teeth.

Dental crowns can be either permanent or temporary. The material that your crown is made out of depends on what kind of crown you are getting.  If your crown is temporary than it will be made out of either stainless steel or acrylic.  Since dental crowns for children who still have primary teeth are not permanent, they would most likely receive one of those two options. Permanent dental crowns are made out of metal, porcelain, or resin.  Metal crowns last the longest but because of their color, are usually used for teeth that are not visible.  Resin or porcelain crowns look the most realistic, but are not as strong as metal crowns. Some dentists use a combination of porcelain and metal to create a dental crown that is both strong and more realistic looking.


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