When a tooth is too weak to stand up to daily wear and tear on its own, a dental crown (a cap shaped like a tooth, varying in material) is used to protect it. From misshapen or yellowed teeth to decay, these crowns are needed in many dental situations, and are very common among children and adults alike.

There are many kinds of dental crowns, some with different purposes, prices and materials than others. They include, among others:

Porcelain-fused-to-metal:These crowns look more natural than metal, and the color can be matched to the existing teeth to lookDental Crowns more natural.
Stainless steel:These crowns are usually used as a temporary solution for protecting the tooth while a permanent crown is made. These are used primarily for children before their adult teeth come in. They protect the tooth until the "baby" tooth falls out to make room for the adult tooth. When the tooth falls out, the crown comes out with it, and a healthy tooth grows in its place.
All-resin:These crowns tend to wear down eventually, but are less expensive than other types. Many people get this type of crown with the intention of replacing it later.

The first step in preparing a tooth for a crown usually involves x-rays and a thorough examination of the tooth itself to check for large-scale decay, and to be sure the root of the tooth is healthy enough to support the crown. If the root is not acceptable, a root canal may be needed. Depending on the tooth, a temporary crown may be needed.

When the tooth is ready, it is first numbed, and then filed down to make room for the new crown. Impressions are taken of the tooth and surrounding areas and sent to a lab where the crown is manufactured. Once the dentist receives the crown back to their office, it will be cemented to the tooth permanently.

The tooth should be cleaned normally, and extra care should be taken when chewing foods or gum. Dental crowns can usually last anywhere from five to 15 years with proper dental hygiene and care. The cost of crowns varies depending on the type of crown used, but usually range from $600 to $1500.

John Chu, D.M.D. in South Pasadena, CA, is dedicated to providing excellent care and expansive expertise for his patients. If you are in need of a crown or would like to set up a consultation, visit www.johnchudmd.com today.