What is a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps placed over teeth. By protecting and covering teeth, dental crowns restore the function and look of damaged, cracked, or worn-down teeth. Generally fabricated from metal, porcelain, resin, or ceramics, many dental crowns are tooth-colored and blend in with your natural smile.

What are the main types of dental crowns?

  • Traditional dental crowns cover the entire tooth.
  • Three-quarter crowns cover around ¾ of a tooth. Dentists will opt for this more conservative approach if the underlying tooth is healthier and does not require a full crown.
  • Like three-quarter crowns, onlays cover less of the tooth than a traditional crown. An onlay covers the top of the tooth, but does not extend down the sides as in a traditional or ¾ crown.

How long do dental crowns last?

Dental crowns generally last from five to fifteen years or more depending on the material used to create the crown.

The lifespan of a dental crown can be affected by oral hygiene habits. While a crown does not require special care, keeping up with good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing can extend the life of a dental crown, delaying the need for a crown replacement.

Is it better to get a dental crown or have a tooth extraction?

Dentists recommend dental crowns over tooth extractions. With a dental crown, the healthy parts of your tooth, including the root, remain intact. This means you avoid the dental conditions and complications associated with tooth loss. Because of these conditions, dentists recommend tooth extraction as a measure of last resort.

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