Top 3 Ways Your Dentist Uses Crowns

Woman surprised by the versatility of dental crownsWhether they’re made from porcelain, gold, or zirconium, dental crowns are your dentist’s favorite little multi-tasking dynamo! These versatile little restorations serve as adjuncts in procedures ranging from the restorative to the cosmetic to the prosthetic. Today, Dr. Erika Peddicord, a family dentist practicing in Ankeny, IA, talks about the three most frequent uses for dental crowns.

1. Providing Support for a Damaged Tooth

For smaller cavities and minor chipped teeth, your dentist will probably recommend a tooth-colored composite filling. However, if your tooth has experienced severe structural damage from an accidental injury or advanced decay or if it has cracked, your dentist will probably recommend a dental crown. Since crowns cover the entire tooth, they provide a much more resilient, longer-lasting dental restorative option than composite filling or even inlays and onlays (often referred to as “partial crowns”). Depending on your needs, you dentist can suggest a range of dental crown materials, such as all-porcelain, zirconium, and porcelain-fused-to-metal.

2. “Crowning” a Dental Implant

If you’ve lost a permanent tooth (or if you’re one of those rare people with a congenitally missing tooth), you’ve likely put a good deal of research into replacement options. After all, a missing tooth can make your smile look unhealthy, make you look older, and seriously impair your ability to chew and pronounce the sounds needed for proper speech. Most dentists prefer to use dental implants to replace their patient’s missing permanent teeth. This cutting-edge prosthetic option does not require the removal of healthy enamel (as opposed to a dental bridge) and dental implants last far longer than either bridges or partial dentures. During this procedure, a periodontist or oral surgeon will surgically embed a titanium implant post within the jaw. Once the implant post fuses with the jaw bone, your dentist will cap it with a custom designed dental crown.

3. Masking Severe Cosmetic Problems

Most dentists prefer to treat minor to moderate esthetic issues (think stained enamel or chipped teeth) using more conservative cosmetic dental techniques like bonding or professional teeth whitening. However, she may suggest placing crowns if you have serious cosmetic issues like:

  • Dark brown or dark grey tooth discolorations or moderate discolorations that simply won’t respond to tooth bleaching treatments.
  • Weak enamel or a crack in the tooth prevents you from qualifying for porcelain veneers.
  • Oddly shaped teeth, pitted or grooved teeth, or chips/breaks that account for 25% or more of the total visible tooth structure.

Since dental crowns are designed and fitted to your preferences and the dimensions of your smile, you can rest assured that this procedure will leave you with a healthy, beautiful smile that you can feel confident about.

About Peddicord Family Dentistry

Dr. Erika Peddicord earned her DDS degree from the University of Iowa College of Dentistry and opened Peddicord Family Dental in 2009. Her enthusiasm for building lasting relationships with her patients and her dedication to oral health set her apart as an outstanding family dentist. New and returning patients can schedule an appointment with Dr. Peddicord by calling (515) 963-3339.