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Toothaches and tooth loss are two common reasons why people might go to a dental office located in New York City. Both of these conditions might also necessitate the application of a dental crown, an essential dental device that dentists use for both restorative and cosmetic dentistry procedures. If you are unfamiliar with dental crowns, the following questions and answers demonstrate how important they are to dentistry and dental health.

How can dental crowns improve oral health?

Dental crowns serve multiple functions. As mentioned, a dental crown may be needed when a patient has a toothache. Toothaches typically signal the presence of an infection that has penetrated the interior of the tooth. If a dentist determines that the dental pulp inside the tooth is diseased, he may need to perform a root canal to save the tooth from extraction. Part of this procedure is the placement of a dental crown over the treated tooth that can protect it from future disease and trauma. A dental office that performs dental implant surgery can likewise utilize these versatile devices. Dental implants can alleviate the cosmetic and functional complications of tooth loss. Once the post and abutment are stable in the mouth, the dental crown, which looks like a natural tooth, is added to complete the procedure.

What materials typically make up dental crowns?

In the past, dentists often used different metals to create dental crowns. Metal is a durable material that can withstand pressure much like tooth enamel can. It can also prove useful for temporary crowns, such as those for children with tooth decay as they await the eruption of their adult teeth. However, metal can contrast greatly with the look of natural teeth and draw unwanted attention. Advances in cosmetic dentistry now allow for the creation of ceramic dental crowns that are virtually indistinguishable from real teeth. Like metal crowns, they are also resistant to damage, making them ideal for dental patients who want a natural-looking smile. Crowns are normally made to the specifications of each patient as well, so once they are placed over the tooth or abutment, they can blend flawlessly with the rest of the teeth.