What is a dental crown?

dental implant with a crown

You may have heard the term ‘dental crown’ before when it comes to dental restoration and improvement. What are these dental crowns exactly? Why do dentists use them, and what materials are they made from? We will look at all these different questions.

What are dental crowns?

A crown is a type of dental restoration. It fully covers that portion of the dental implant or tooth that is directly at and above the gum line. This means it becomes the tooth’s new outer surface when it is placed. Compare that to a dental filling for example that just repairs or fills a specific portion of that tooth. Dental crowns are permanently fixed into place. The crown will function like a natural tooth and needs to be cared for the same way.

Why are dental crowns used?

There are different reasons that a dentist may recommend a dental crown. They routinely use them for the following reasons:

• To strengthen or repair already damaged teeth
• To improve the overall appearance of the tooth, this can include shape, color, and alignment

While there are alternatives options and treatments available, there is no other dental restoration option that has the same advantages and benefits as a crown.

What is a dental crown?

What kinds of material are they made from?

It is common to see dental crowns made from:

• Porcelain or an alternative dental ceramic
• A metal alloy, this can include non-precious, semi-precious, or precious alloy.
• A combination of metal alloy and dental ceramic, for example, porcelain-fused-to-metal

Each of the three different options has their own advantages and disadvantages. This means that each option has its most-suited applications.

How long does it take?

It usually requires two separate dentist visits to install a dental crown. The dentist will make sure that the tooth is able to support a crown and file the tooth down a bit during the first visit. If the tooth is already broken or severely damaged, the tooth may need to be filled first in order to support the crown properly.

After taking an impression of the tooth, the pictures are sent to a dental lab. This means that the permanent crown is made custom to suit your specific needs. After the first visit, the dentist is going to place a temporary crown that is going to protect the tooth temporarily while the final crown is prepared

During the second visit, the permanent crown is fastened using special adhesive. Even though it is going to feel a little strange at first, it will feel and function like a regular tooth over time.

Dental Crowns can also be the top of a dental implant making the perfect replacement tooth. This latest advancement in the dental implant and crown combination is the latest in cutting edge dentistry.

What does a cosmetic dentist do?

cosmetic dentist for dental mplants charlotte ncUnlike the traditional dentist, a cosmetic dentist does not necessarily focus on the physical health of the patient, but focuses more on the patient’s self-esteem. The focus is on improving the overall appearance of your teeth and gums. There are a number of ways that a cosmetic dentist can enhance your looks. We will walk you through some of the most popular procedures.

Tooth whitening

Tooth whitening or bleaching is a way to get white, brighter teeth. Over time, it is natural that our teeth become stained or discolored. Some of the common reasons behind this include tea, tobacco, and coffee. Using carbamide or hydrogen peroxide, a cosmetic dentist can lighten the color of your teeth. The result is that people are more confident in their appearance.


Veneers are the next step in teeth whitening, covering the surface of the teeth completely. These are thin segments of natural colored composite plastic or porcelain fixed on the front teeth. They not only produce a white smile, but can also hide bridge gaps between the front teeth, hide cracks and chips, change the shape of a tooth, or mask small misalignments.


This cap fits over the tooth in order to strengthen it or enhance its appearance. Weak, discolored, or damaged front teeth may need a crown. It looks like a normal tooth but is actually made from ceramic.

What does a cosmetic dentist do?


When one or two front teeth are missing, bridges are recommended. Often made from porcelain or precious metal, it bridges the gap between two crowns fixed on the teeth using an artificial tooth.

Dental implants

Dental Implants are another way to replace a missing tooth, but more expensive than a bridge or denture. There is a titanium rod inserted into the jawbone and there is a crown fixed on top of that titanium rod.

Tooth straightening and gum treatment
Oftentimes cosmetic dentists will use braces to shape and straighten teeth. Invisible braces (made from clear plastic) are a great option when it comes to a straightening process that might take months. A cosmetic dentist can also address gum disease problems for both medical and aesthetic reasons.

There are a number of different treatments you can expect from a cosmetic dentist. Even with extensive damage or disease to the gums or teeth, a cosmetic dentist is often able to give you back full functionality and an attractive smile.

Laser dentistry for cavities

Laser dentistry charlotte nc

While most people know that drilling a tooth for a cavity is no picnic, the anticipation and sound the actual drill makes is far worse than anything else could. The sounds emanating from the dental practice can have patients running for the door. So when the Food and Drug Administration approved the use of lasers to treat cavities in 1997, you can understand that many people would be excited about that.

How do lasers work in dentistry?

Just like every other laser, lasers in dentistry deliver energy in the form of light. When used in dental procedures, it can act as a vaporizer or cutting instrument when it is exposed to tissue. It can also help strengthen the bond between the tooth and the filling and dentists can even use it in teeth whitening procedures where the laser enhances the effect of tooth bleaching agents by acting as a heat source.

Laser dentistry for cavities

How can they fix cavities?

The erbium laser is the traditional type of laser used to treat dental cavities. This solid-state laser can quietly remove tiny layers of the tooth and can usually do so without causing any serious discomfort. More often than not, the patient does not need an injection to numb them during the procedure. This type of treatment can be used for small to medium sized cavities and has recently been approved for use in children as well.

What are the benefits and drawbacks?

As with any procedure, there are pros and cons. When it comes to using laser dentistry for cavities, these are the most important factors:


• They do not produce the noise of the conventional drill nor do they heat up
• They may cause less pain in many instances
• Patients afraid of the dental drill will no longer have to be as anxious
• Soft tissue treatments produce less swelling and bleeding
• When removing a cavity, it is possible to preserve more of the healthy tooth


• You cannot use them if there are fillings already in place
• The need for an anesthetic is not completely eliminated
• It can be more expensive

Because of the large investment, many dentists are apprehensive about investing in laser technology. However, those who have done so already often get rave reviews from their patients. The fact that it can do the job quietly is a tremendous benefit for many patients who may not be comfortable with the drill