Dental Crowns

Teeth are used hundreds if not thousands of times per day to chew all types of food.   This type of use, combined with dental decay and the resulting fillings, can lead a tooth to significantly break down.  While minor break down of a tooth can often be fixed with a filling, often times a crown (also referred to as a “dental cap”) is needed.

The following is a photograph taken of a tooth that needs a crown.  This patient came to us in our Orange, CT dental office:

Photo of molar tooth with cracks that needs a crown to be done in Woodbridge, CT

Photo of a tooth that needed a crown. Patient was from West Haven, CT. Without treatment, the tooth will likely fracture, possibly beyond saving. Photo by Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra.

Reasons why a tooth needs a crown
  • Your tooth is broken or has a very large fracture in it.
  • Your teeth has had a root canal procedure done.
  • Your tooth has a very large cavity.
  • Your tooth has a large filling that is failing.
  • Your tooth has a crown that is failing.
  • You desire a cosmetic improvement to the look of a tooth.
What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a strong piece of material that completely covers the tooth.  It protects an already weakened tooth from further fracture and wear.  In addition, when a cosmetic material is used, the crown provides a significant esthetic improvement to the look of your tooth.

There are three major types of crowns: all porcelain, metal ceramic, and all gold. This page talks specifically about metal ceramic crowns (also known as porcelain fused to metal or PFM crowns).

Metal Ceramic crowns have been in use for nearly fifty years.  They consist of a hard and durable metal layer that completely covers all of the tooth above the gumline.  Overlying the metal is a cosmetic layer of porcelain designed to match the adjacent teeth.  Their success rates are excellent and we have many patients in our office with metal ceramic crowns that are 20+ years old.

A porcelain fused to metal crown – from start to finish

The following is an example of a patient who saw Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra in our practice in Orange, CT.  She had broken her upper premolar:

Photos of a broken tooth before a crown was placed in our Orange, CT office serving Woodbridge

Broken upper premolar on a patient from Ansonia, CT. This tooth needed a crown. Photo by Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra.

The various options were discussed. Since the patient was not too concerned with esthetics, she chose a porcelain fused to metal crown instead of an all porcelain crown. Dr. Calcaterra prepared the tooth and in three weeks she had a crown custom fit for her tooth:

Photos of the same teeth with crowns on them for the patient from West Haven, CT

Final crown in place. Notice how it blends in under the gumline. Photo by Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra.

The end result for the patient is a tooth restored to normal form and function.