Oasis Family Dental provides dental crowns to restore teeth after they have been broken or decayed. Crowns are excellent restorative options, as they enable you to chew and smile with full confidence. Give us a call today at 956-661-1000 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Damien Garcia and Dr. Lisa Gortari and to learn more about dental crowns in McAllen, Texas!

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth. A crown covers the tooth and restore its shape and size, strength, and improves its appearance. A crown, when cemented into place, fully encases the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  1. To protect a weak tooth, such as one with extensive decay, from breaking, or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
  2. To restore a broken tooth, or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  3. To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there is not much of the tooth left
  4. To hold a dental bridge in place
  5. To cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth
  6. To cover a dental implant
  7. To make a cosmetic modification

For children, a crown may be used on primary (baby) teeth in order to:

  • Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling.
  • Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene.
  • Decrease the frequency of sedation and general anesthesia for children who, because of age, behavior, or medical history cannot fully cooperate with the requirements of proper dental care.
  • In the above cases, a dentist is likely to recommend a stainless-steel crown.

What Types of Crowns Are Available?

Permanent crowns can be made from stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, or may be all-ceramic.

Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crowns that are used on permanent teeth primarily as a temporary measure. The crown protects the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is made from another material. For children, a stainless-steel crown is commonly used to fit over a primary tooth that has been prepared to support it. The crown covers the entire tooth and protects it from further decay. When the primary tooth comes out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out naturally with it. In general, stainless steel crowns are used for children’s teeth because they don’t require multiple dental visits to be placed. This makes them more cost- effective than custom-made crowns. This also decreases the prophylactic dental care needed to protect a tooth without a crown.

Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys, for example, palladium. Or crowns may use a base-metal alloy such as nickel or chromium. Compared with other types of crowns, the wear on opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces, and they rarely chip or break. The main drawback is the metallic color. Metal crowns are not commonly used today in dentistry due to poor esthetics and fluctuating costs of metal materials. With new materials such as zirconia available, the need for all metal crowns has diminished. However, there are still rare occasions in which an all-metal crown would be in the patient’s best interest.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be colored to match your adjacent teeth, a feature not available with metallic crowns. However, this type of crown causes more wear on the opposing teeth, compared to metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look the most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line. This condition can become even more pronounced if your gums recede. This crown is often a good choice for front or back teeth.

All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide a better natural color match than any other crown type, and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. Some all ceramic crowns have increased strength and are less likely to fracture like porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for any tooth in most cases.

Temporary versus permanent. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist’s office, whereas permanent crowns are usually made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic or stainless steel, and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is crafted by a lab.

If you have any questions about dental crowns, or you would like to make an appointment with our experienced dentists, please contact our office today.