Can you put a cap on a dogs tooth? Surprising Answer

How do I know if my dog needs a crown?

Veterinary dentists often recommend crowns after root canal therapy is performed to protect broken teeth (right) from further trauma. Crowns are also used as a second layer of defense in cases where protective enamel is not present due to wear or congenital disease that causes part of the enamel not to form (enamel hypoplasia). The crown acts as armor around the outside of the tooth for protection. It does not strengthen the tooth.

While any tooth can be crowned, the most common teeth to receive crowns are the canine or front fang teeth. The second most commonly crowned teeth are the upper fourth premolar teeth used to cut food into small pieces before swallowing.

Will the crown be the same size and color as the original tooth?

In situations where the crown is used to cover a broken tooth that has been repaired, the crown will cover the remaining tooth, not make the tooth longer. Having a shorter tooth will not inhibit normal chewing or biting activities. Where the crown is used to replace missing enamel, the tooth will appear normal sized.

The crown needs to withstand the rigors of daily chewing and play. Metallic crowns composed of titanium, chromium, and stainless steel are most commonly used. They will be shiny and silver colored (left). Thicker tooth-colored crowns can also be made, but require removal of more of the underlying tooth.

The tooth to be crowned must be reduced in size to accommodate the thickness of the crown. The tooth will be reshaped and with a margin so that the crown will fit perfectly. An impression is made of the tooth that needs the crown, along with the surrounding upper and lower teeth. From the impression, a stone model is made and sent to a human dental lab to fabricate the crown. Once the crown is received at your veterinarian’s office, your dog must return to be anesthetized in order to place the crown on the tooth. It is secured in place with proper dental materials.

What is the Procedure for Dental Crown Therapy?

Metal crown creation and placement requires two anesthetic procedures. During the first procedure, the tooth is treated with root canal therapy and prepped for a metal crown. Detailed impressions are created of the tooth and submitted to an outside laboratory that specializes in creating the crown. These crowns are most often made of metal alloys, such as nickel and chromium.

The fabricated metal crown is returned within 7-10 days and the patient is scheduled for a brief second procedure. During this procedure, the crown is first placed on the tooth to be sure it fits well and that there is no interference with surrounding teeth. It is then cemented in place through a series of detailed steps.

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