A dental crown is the part of the tooth that makes up your smile. Your dental roots lie within your jawbone and are covered by gingival tissue so we do not see them. Your crowns, on the other hand, lie above the gum. You brush the crowns of your teeth and floss in between them to keep them healthy and clean. But when something happens to your natural tooth crown, it can often be protected or replaced with a prosthetic dental crown.
Crowns as Protection and Reinforcement
Dental crowns are often used as protection and/or reinforcement for teeth that are chipped, cracked, fractured, have an excessively large cavity or filling, or for teeth that have undergone a root canal. The damaged tooth is decreased by the thickness of the dental crown and the crown is then bonded over the damaged tooth providing reinforcement and protection.
Crowns as Replacement Teeth
Dental crowns are also used to replace the crown of a lost tooth. In such instances, they are used to top an implant post. An implant post is generally a small titanium post that is surgically inserted into your jawbone to replace the root of your tooth. It then osseointegrates (fuses) with the bone to provide the stability of a root. After it heals (which takes about three months), it is then topped with an abutment, upon which a dental crown is permanently bonded. This provides a replacement tooth and root that is as equally strong and stable as your natural teeth.