Crowns Specialist

Richard A. Harmetz, DDS

General and Artistic Dentists located in San Diego, CA

Dental crowns are common. In fact, an astounding 15 million Americans have crowns to replace missing teeth, reports the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. If you need a crown to strengthen or restore appearance to a tooth that’s worn, cracked, weak, or discolored, top-rated San Diego general dentist Richard A. Harmetz, DDS can help. To find out more, call or schedule an appointment online today.

Crowns Q & A

What is a crown?

A dental crown is also called a "cap." It's placed on top of a damaged tooth. It's designed in the shape of the original tooth and can improve its appearance and strength. The crown acts as a protective covering, as it's fitted over the original tooth so that the visible portion of the tooth is encased. It's sealed in place with dental cement.

Why would I need a crown?

There are a number of reasons Dr. Harmetz might recommend a crown. A crown can cover a dental implant or a discolored or oddly-shaped tooth.

Crowns are more than cosmetic solutions. They can cover and protect a weak or cracked natural tooth. Teeth with large fillings and little natural tooth remaining are especially susceptible to breaking, but a crown can prevent this from happening.

Whether you need a crown to improve the look of your smile or the functionality of a tooth, a dental crown can safeguard teeth.

Which kind of crown is right for my teeth?

There are a variety of dental crown materials to consider. Crowns can be made from:

  • Stainless steel
  • Gold or another alloy
  • Porcelain fused to metal
  • Resin
  • Ceramic

The material used for your crown will depend on your situation and the crown's purpose. For example, stainless steel is the most common material for temporary crowns. Stainless steel crowns are often prefabricated and are a frequent choice for children who need crowns on baby teeth.

Metal crowns are durable and able to tolerate the impact of chewing and biting, but due to their color, they’re usually reserved for use in the back of the mouth.

Porcelain fused to metal crowns are closer in appearance to natural teeth than stainless steel crowns; however, they do have some disadvantages. For example, the metal portion of the crown might be visible as a dark line close to the gums, and the opposing teeth might endure more wear than with other types of crowns.

All-ceramic crowns are the best option for men and women with metal allergies. All-resin crowns are cheaper than many other types of crowns, but more susceptible to wear and tear and therefore, cracking.

What's involved with a dental crown procedure?

A dental crown procedure typically involves two visits to Dr. Harmetz, at a minimum.

First, he takes X-rays to evaluate the condition of the tooth in question. Next, he files down or builds up the tooth so that the crown can be attached properly. Then, he takes an impression of your teeth to send off to a dental lab.

Finally, Dr. Harmetz fabricates a temporary crown to safeguard your tooth until the permanent crown is completed and in place.

Would you like to learn more about dental crowns? Think you might need a crown replaced? Contact Dr. Harmetz’s San Diego office or schedule an appointment online today.