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Dental Crowns and Crown Tooth Repair

If any of your teeth are decayed, chipped, cracked, or suffer from other forms of damage, dental crowns may present an ideal restorative dentistry solution. Your dental restorations offer both cosmetic and oral health benefits, reinforcing the structure of a tooth while restoring your natural-looking smile.


The anatomy of your tooth is divided into two parts: The root and the crown. In people with healthy gums and bone the roots of teeth are covered by bone and gums. The portion of your tooth visible above your gum line is called the clinical crown. A dental restoration that partially or entirely encases the entire visible part of the tooth at and above the gum line is known as a dental crown or cap.


A crown may be needed to preserve a tooth weakened from caries or injury from breakage. Dental crowns can hold together the pieces of a cracked tooth and may be used to restore already broken teeth, or teeth that are severely worn down due to grinding or bruxism. They are also indicated to cover and support teeth with large fillings when there is little tooth structure left. Crowns are commonly used after root canal treatments to prevent the remaining tooth from cracking or fracturing.

Dental crowns may be used to make cosmetic modifications, to hold dental bridges in place, to correct misaligned teeth, or to cover dental implants or misshapen or severely discolored teeth. Stainless steel crowns are usually used on children’s primary teeth to save teeth severely damaged by decay or to protect teeth at high risk of cavities.

Patients with cracked tooth syndrome may benefit from dental crowns. Cracked tooth syndrome is a condition where a patient has a fracture inside a tooth that causes pain when chewed on in a certain way. Chewing produces stress on fracture lines, making it feel like the tooth is splitting apart. A crown works to hold the tooth together and redistribute the pressure evenly throughout the tooth, eliminating the pain in most cases.


Different materials can be used to make crowns. Our team will discuss your options and help you determine the best dental crown material for you.

Metal Crowns: Stainless steel crowns are commonly used for children’s primary teeth because they do not require multiple visits to the dentist and because they are more cost-effective than their alternatives.

Porcelain Fused to Metal Dental Crowns: We can match these to the color of your natural teeth. Aside from all porcelain or ceramic crowns, these crowns look most like your natural teeth. However, at times the metal can show through as a dark line by the gums, especially if your gum tissue recedes. These crowns are a good option for bridges where the metal provides the needed strength.

Composite Resin Dental Crowns: These are less expensive than many other types of crowns but tend to wear down over time and may be more prone to fractures than porcelain fused to metal crowns.

All Ceramic or Porcelain Crowns: These provide a better natural color match than any other crown type and have been shown to be sturdy and durable. In some cases, ceramic crowns are made using CAD/CAM technology by milling them out of pieces of porcelain at the dental office.

Onlays and Inlays:  Inlays are comparable to fillings, while onlays are partial crowns that only cover some of the tooth's cusps, but not all of them. This dental restoration is chosen as a conservative treatment to preserve as much of your tooth structure as possible. If conditions permit, this is the preferred type of crown restoration.


The procedure for getting your dental crown usually takes two separate visits. The procedure first involves numbing the tooth with local anesthesia. If your tooth is severely damaged or broken, or if you have undergone a root canal, we may need to fill it in and build it up to restore enough of your tooth to support the crown.

Next, your tooth is filed down to make room for the crown, and an impression is taken using a putty-like substance or a digital scanner. After determining the right shade, you will get a temporary crown until your permanent restoration is ready. You may feel some sensitivity or soreness but the dental crown pain should be minimal and shouldn't last long.

After a few weeks, you will return for a second visit. We will remove the temporary crown and replace it with your permanent restoration. After we make any necessary adjustments, we will cement your crown into place. Once your procedure is complete, your restored tooth should look, feel, and function as a regular tooth.


Your crown should last from 5-20 years. You can make sure they last as long as possible by following good oral hygiene practices such as flossing and brushing, and by avoiding grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth as tools or bottle openers. Make sure not to neglect routine checkups and cleanings to maintain your oral health and achieve the best results.


Sometimes dental crowns will chip or crack, and this can often lead to a substantial amount of dental crown pain. If this happens to you, you’ll want to immediately give us a call, as a broken crown can be a serious matter that could lead to an emergency visit. Unless the break is particularly jagged or painful, usually a crown repair can wait for a day or two. However, it’s still best to talk through the details with your dentist before determining the best course of action.


To learn more about dental crown procedures, schedule your consultation with Fortson Dentistry today. Our three locations allow us to offer dental crown procedures and repairs to patients throughout Southeast Michigan including: Southfield, Royal Oak, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Berkley, Huntington Woods, and Ferndale. We will answer any questions and work with you to determine the best dental restoration procedure for you. We offer you dental care second to none!