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The Many Roles of Dental Crowns

The Many Roles of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a common “prescription” for badly damaged teeth. The American College of Prosthodontists says single crowns are the most common type of dental restoration in the United States.

As important as crowns are in tooth restoration, they have many other uses and benefits, too. At Park Place Smiles in Glendora, California, Minal Patel, DDS, uses dental crowns to restore, repair, protect, and beautify teeth. Here are five ways dental crowns could help you.

Restore a damaged tooth

Because crowns surround the entire upper part of the tooth — the part extending above the gum line — they’re an ideal choice for repairing teeth that have significant damage. When a tooth is broken, cracked, or deeply decayed, Dr. Patel frequently turns to crowns as part of the solution. 

Before applying your crown, Dr. Patel removes any decayed material, then shapes the tooth so there’s “room” for the crown. She takes an impression of the tooth and sends it to the lab where your crown is made. Once your crown is ready, you return to the office so it can be securely applied using a special dental adhesive.

Support a dental bridge

Bridges are used to replace one or more missing teeth, and many people are surprised to learn that crowns play a key role in this process. Bridges span the gap left by missing teeth, and they “stay put” by attaching to the teeth on either side of that gap.

Not surprisingly, that means those teeth are exposed to more stress and strain. Before receiving your bridge, Dr. Patel applies crowns to the neighboring, supportive teeth, providing added strength and protection.

Replace a missing tooth

Crowns are an integral part of a dental implant. While the implant post is placed into your jawbone, the crown is the visible restoration that sits on top of the implant — the part that looks and acts just like a natural tooth.

When you receive an implant, your crown is expertly shaped and tinted to match your natural teeth. Once in place, your crown works like the rest of your teeth, helping you eat and speak normally while also restoring your confidence in your beautiful smile.

Protect a tooth following a root canal

Root canal therapy preserves teeth that have been badly damaged by deep decay and infection. During a root canal treatment, Dr. Patel removes the interior “pulp” part of the tooth — the part that’s decayed and infected.

While a root canal saves a damaged tooth, removing the pulp can reduce the strength of the tooth and leave it looking darker than its neighbors. Once the root canal is complete, Dr. Patel uses a crown to strengthen and protect the tooth while also hiding unwanted discoloration.

Correct cosmetic flaws

Crowns can also be a good choice for cosmetic dentistry needs. By covering the visible part of your tooth, a crown can help any tooth blend in with the rest of your smile.

In cosmetic dentistry, crowns are often a good choice for people with deeply discolored teeth that can’t be treated with professional whitening, and for patients with misshapen or broken teeth. Each crown is shaped to match the natural contours and tinted to blend with your smile.

Choosing the right crown

Crowns are a popular option for correcting structural and cosmetic flaws. When it comes to choosing a crown, you have several options.


Metal crowns can be made of a variety of metals, including stainless steel and gold. While these crowns are durable, they’re also visible. In most cases, these crowns are reserved for back teeth, but even then, laughing or yawning can still expose them.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM)

PFM crowns feature a metal base fused to a porcelain overlay that can be tinted to match your teeth. Less visible than a metal crown, the underlying metal base can sometimes show through, and as the porcelain layer gets worn, the crown might cause more wear on the tooth it touches.


Zirconia crowns feature state-of-the-art materials for a crown that’s extremely durable and blends beautifully with your other teeth. Resistant to wear and chipping, zirconia crowns may cost a bit more, but they can also last longer and withstand the repetitive forces of biting and chewing. For these reasons, all-zirconia crowns tend to be especially popular for restorations.

Crowns are extremely versatile, but they’re not the only way to repair or restore a tooth. Dr. Patel has experience in multiple types of restorations and other treatments that can help maintain your healthy, beautiful smile.

To learn more about crowns and other restorative treatments, call 626-226-1802 or book an appointment online with Park Place Smiles today.

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