In human dentistry, a “crown” (a metal or metal-covered-by-ceramic covering, cemented to the crown of a damaged or abnormal tooth) is commonly used to improve the appearance of abnormal teeth and to restore function and strength to a tooth that has been damaged.
A crown is rarely medically necessary in veterinary patients, except when function is essential, as in working dogs (e.g. military, police or security dogs), although a crown may reduce the risk of failure of a restoration and recurrence of endodontic disease. Placing a crown requires an additional anesthetic episode for cementation of the crown following completion of endodontic (root canal) treatment and preparation of the tooth; this involves additional expense.
Fig 1. Metallic crown placed to help protect the tooth treated by root canal therapy.
Fig 2. Tooth-colored ceramic crown on a mandibular canine tooth.
The most common crown materials for veterinary patients are cast metal alloys. They provide superior strength and require the least removal of tooth material when preparing the tooth for the crown, compared with a ceramic-covered (tooth-colored) crowns.
AVDC board-certified veterinary dental specialists are trained in the techniques required for placing crowns in veterinary patients. If you have any questions regarding possible crown therapy for your pet, consult your veterinarian or contact an AVDC veterinary dentist.