What You Should Know About Dental Crowns

Idaho Falls Dentist, Machen Family Dentist


If you want a smile that’s your crowning glory, you may need a crown to cover a tooth to help restore it to its normal shape and size.

What is a Crown?

A crown is a tooth shaped cover (cap) that is placed over a tooth that has been prepared by the dentist.

When is a Crown Needed?

A crown is needed when a tooth has had a significant amount of trauma or decay on the tooth.  A crown may be recommended for a tooth that has had a root canal, has greater than 50% of the tooth missing, or an entire cusp, a tooth with a significant crack or break, or is covering an implant. There are quite a few different kinds of materials that a crown can be made of. See the list below.

What Types of Crowns Are Available?

  • Porcelain Fused to Metal
  • All Ceramic
  • All Porcelain
  • Zirconia
  • Gold

What are the Differences?

Porcelain Fused to Metal is a crown that has an interior of metal that is covered by porcelain.  This crown can be matched in color to the surrounding teeth making it aesthetically pleasing.

An all Ceramic or all porcelain crowns are the most natural in tooth color and are great for front teeth.  They are also great for those who have an allergy to metals.

Zirconium Crowns fused to porcelain are so close to natural teeth that it is hard to tell the difference. Zirconium crowns are also very strong and can be used anywhere in the mouth. Full zirconium crowns may be recommended in patients that have a strong bite and a history of breaking teeth.

Gold crowns are ideal for capping teeth that are in the back of the mouth.  Gold is very long lasting and gentle to the teeth they bite against.  They will also not chip. Out of all of the different types of dental crowns, gold crowns probably have the greatest potential for lasting the longest even though they are not the most aesthetically pleasing.

What are the Benefits of Crowns?

A crown can strengthen the tooth and improve its appearance. With a large filling, a crown strengthens the tooth when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking, or restore one that’s already broken. A crown or a veneer is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It’s also used to cover a dental implant. If you have questions about crowns, feel free to give our Idaho Falls dentist a call at 208-552-0775.