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Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are placed over the remnants of an existing tooth.  This gives the impression that the tooth has been restored to its full shape and size, restoring its strength and appearance.

Crowns are used in a number of situations.  They may be put in place to protect an existing weak tooth or to restore or cover a broken tooth.  Dentists may choose to use them in cases where a large filling that has been drilled does not leave enough of a tooth to provide a safe and secure fix.  Crowns can be used for a variety of cosmetic purposes, as well as to provide strength and stability for other types of dental work such as bridges or implants.

There are several types of crowns. Stainless steel crowns are used as a temporary cover until a permanent crown is made from a different kind of material and can be put in place in a patient’s mouth.  Metal crowns made from various types of alloys such as gold or palladium, are the most durable crowns and will have the least wear over a long period of time.  Porcelain crowns can be made to match a patient’s other existing teeth and from a cosmetic point of view, may look the best.  However, porcelain crowns are prone to chipping or breaking off.  Sometimes, they are used in cases where a person has an allergy to metals.

While crowns are seen as an effective and a reliable way to protect and replace a person’s natural teeth, sometimes problems do take place.  Immediately following the placement of a crown, a person may experience discomfort or sensitivity because the crowned tooth still has a live nerve in it.  Crowns can come loose when the underlying cement causes the tooth to decay.  This can cause crowns to fall off in some cases as well.

Fortunately, patients who follow good dental hygiene can expect a crown to last 15 years or more, giving long-lasting relief that will withstand wear and tear for over a decade.

Douglas Family Dentistryserves families in Scottsdale, Tempe, Mesa, Phoenix, Paradise Valley, Glendale and surrounding Arizona communities.