Dental Crowns and Veneers
Dental crowns are permanent restorations that replace the crown of the tooth by fitting over the remaining natural tooth structure. A dental crown, which is sometimes called a “cap,” is typically made of ceramic or metal, and it is permanently bonded to the natural tooth structure. Some of the reasons for needing a crown are –
- extensive decay or fracture where there is not enough natural tooth structure left to support a filling
- final restoration following root canal treatment to seal the tooth and/or impart strength to the tooth
- excessive wear on teeth causing a change in the way the teeth and/or jaws fit together
- a desire to change the esthetics of teeth
Why do I need a crown instead of a filling?
When too much of the original tooth is missing, placing a filling in the tooth is not the best treatment for the long-term health of the tooth. A general rule of thumb is that once half of the natural tooth structure is missing, a crown is often indicated. A dental crown allows the restoration on the tooth to have improved strength, to better seal the tooth from bacteria, and to provide enhanced esthetics over a filling. This results in a restoration that will last longer and better protect the tooth, which increases the longevity and health of the tooth.
Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, and Onlays?
There can be confusion in terminology with several different restorations that are all very similar – crowns, veneers, inlays, and onlays. All of these are permanent restorations, typically made of a ceramic material, that are bonded to the existing tooth structure. Here is a brief explanation of how they are different:
- A crown covers 75% or more of the tooth
- A veneer covers mainly the front part of the tooth
- An inlay is on back teeth and does not cover a cusp of the tooth
- An onlay is on back teeth and covers at least one cusp of the tooth (but less than 75% of the tooth)
Before and After Photos
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