When a tooth becomes damaged to the point that a filling just won’t do, it is time for a crown. A crown (or cap as it is sometimes known) is a custom made replacement enamel that covers over a broken tooth to keep it protected from forces that want to break it down further. Dr. Cooney will recommend a crown for teeth that have large holes in them or pieces missing or have undergone root canal therapy. He will also recommend crowns for teeth that are fractured or cracked in order to prevent the tooth from breaking, becoming infected or extracted.
Crowns are tooth colored and made of a type of porcelain that can withstand the forces of chewing for a long time. Though there are situations where a full metal crown or a porcelain layered on metal crown has its advantages, the vast majority of crowns placed are completely made of porcelain (like the example above). These metal free crowns look so natural and feel so real that even dental professionals have a hard time identifying which teeth are natural and which are crowns. In addition, metal free crowns do not get the typical “black line” near the gums that other, metal containing crowns can get making them ideal for situations where looks are important.
A patient who takes great care of their crowns can expect several decades if not more from them.