3470 Blazer Pkwy
Suite 110
Lexington, KY 40509
(859) 264-9493
(859) 264-8323


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3470 Blazer Pkwy
Suite 110
Lexington, KY 40509
(859) 264-9493

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Patient Education


A Dental Crown refers to the restoration of teeth using materials such as gold and porcelain that are fabricated by indirect methods, which are cemented into place. A crown is used to cap or completely cover a tooth. The terms "caps" and "crowns" are interchangeable because the procedures for the restorations are essentially the same.

Why Restore a Crown


When decay is first detected in a tooth, the usual action taken by the dentist is to provide the tooth with an intracoronal restoration: a restoration consisting of a dental material that will exist totally within the confines of the remaining tooth structure. This restoration is commonly referred to as a "filling", and can consist of a number of materials, including silver-colored amalgam, tooth-colored resin or gold.

In a situation where there is not enough remaining solid tooth structure after decay and fragile tooth structure is removed, or the tooth has fractured, the tooth might very well require a crown restoration: a restoration consisting of a dental material that will exist around the remaining tooth structure to a varying degree. Restorations that fall into this category include the various types of crowns and onlays, and these can consist of a number of materials as well, including gold, ceramic (porcelain), or a combination of the two. Ceramic crowns are increasingly being substituted in place of gold crowns for aesthetic and structural reasons.

The circumstance of the damaged tooth defines the restoration. In other words, based upon factors such as remaining solid tooth structure, aesthetics, the location of the tooth within the mouth and the forces of function that the tooth will have to deal with once restored, the Dentist will then decide on the proper way to treat the tooth.

Things are not always straightforward when it comes to restoring a tooth. An advantage of crowning a tooth over restoring the tooth with an excessively large pin-supported amalgam or composite restoration is that crowns provide much more protection against future fracture or recurrent decay.

Other Considerations


Dental implants are placed into either the upper or lower jaws as an alternative to being partially or completely without teeth. Once placed and properly integrated into the bone, implants may then be fitted with a number of different prostheses.

Crowns or bridges

Precision attachments for either removable partial dentures, complete dentures or a hybrid sort of prosthetic appliance.

Endodontically treated teeth

When teeth undergo endodontic treatment, or root canal therapy, they are devitalized when the nerve and blood supply are cut off and the space which they previously filled, known as the "pulp chamber" and "root canal", are thoroughly cleansed and filled with various materials to prevent future invasion by bacteria.

The living tooth structure is surprisingly resilient and can sustain considerable abuse without fracturing. Consequently, after root canal therapy is performed, a tooth becomes extremely brittle and is significantly weaker than its vital neighbors.

Therefore, posterior teeth (i.e. molars and premolars) should in almost all situations be crowned after undergoing root canal therapy to provide for proper protection against fracture. Should an endodontically treated tooth not be properly protected, there is a chance of it succumbing to breakage from normal functional forces. This fracture may well be difficult to treat, and the tooth could be unrestorable and require extraction. Anterior teeth (i.e. incisors and canines), which are exposed to significantly lower functional forces, may effectively be treated with intracoronal restorations following root canal therapy if there is enough tooth structure remaining after the procedure, but usually require crowning due to being brittle after the root canal procedure.


Another possible situation in which a crown would be the restoration of choice is when a patient desires to have his or her smile aesthetically improved but when partial coverage (i.e. a veneer/laminate) is not an option for one or more of a number of reasons. If the patient's bite does not permit for a mildly retentive restoration, or if there is too much decay or a fracture within the tooth structure, a porcelain veneer may not be placed with any adequate guarantee for its durability. Similarly, a bruxer (i.e. someone who grinds his or her teeth) may produce enough force to repeatedly dislodge or irreversibly wear down any veneer a dentist can plan for. In such a case, full coverage crowns can alter the size, shape or shade of a patient's teeth while protecting against failure of the restoration.

Makeover shows such as Extreme Makeover make extensive use of crowns, as the time frame of the makeover period is too short to allow up to 18 months for orthodontic treatment to treat problems that might otherwise be corrected more conservatively.

Types & Materials

Metal-containing Restorations

Full gold crowns - (FGC) consist entirely of a single piece of alloy. Although referred to as a gold crown, this type of crown is actually composed of many different types of elements, including but not limited to gold, platinum, palladium, silver, copper and tin.

Metal-free Restoration

Porcelain and Ceramic Restorations

Porcelain crowns may be porcelain fused to metal/gold restorations (PFM) or an all porcelain restoration.  All ceramic restorations are made of a unique process and have no metal in them.  Porcelain and all ceramic crowns may used anywhere in the mouth to restore a tooth that the chosen material is strong enough to function under the forces of the patient's bite.  The Dentist will determine which materials are the best solutions for each individual patient.  Do not hesitate to ask the Dentist which materials He or She recommends.