When is a dental crown needed?
Crowns, also known as caps, help protect a tooth that has been damaged, such as one with a big filling in it. “We rely on what’s left of the tooth after the cavity has been removed-or the tooth has been broken-to hold on to the filling,” says Dr. Lee. “If you have a tooth that’s 50 per cent filling, there’s less tooth to hold it. When you’re chewing, you can break the remaining tooth structure. A crown is a cover that goes over the entire tooth and protects it from breaking any more.”
Other candidates for a dental crown include teeth that have had a root canal, teeth that are badly deteriorated, or teeth that are crooked, discoloured or misshapen.
Dentists can also put crowns on dental implants. “If someone’s missing a tooth, we put an implant in the jaw,” says Dr. Lee. “The crown or cap is the part you can see.”