What is it?

A dental crown in veterinary dentistry is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a dog or cat's
tooth. It covers the tooth to restore (or at least approximate) its shape, size, strength, and/or to
improve its appearance. Most crowns in veterinary patients fully encase the entire visible portion
of a tooth. When properly performed, crowns are permanent.

At VDS, we place crowns on police and military dogs on a regular basis with excellent long-term results.

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Why crowns are needed

The most common reasons for a dog or cat to need a crown include:

  • Protecting a weakened tooth from breaking
  • Restoring an already broken tooth
  • Covering and/or supporting a tooth with a large filling
  • Strengthening a malformed tooth
  • Read more about crown fractures

Types of crowns

  1. Metal crowns are the most common type of crown used in dogs and cats because they are the most durable type of crown. Compared with other crown types, metal crowns also require less tooth structure to be removed. Metal crowns are extremely strong and can withstand a pet’s biting and chewing forces and probably last the longest in terms of wear.
  2. Porcelain-fused-to-metal or all-ceramic dental crowns are made in tooth-colored materials that look like adjacent teeth (unlike metallic crowns). (The downside to these types of crowns is that they can chip or break. These crowns can be considered for a small pet’s front teeth or pets that do not chew or eat hard objects.


Crowns used to treat these common pet oral health problems

Dead or Discolored Teeth
You may have heard of dead, discolored, or non-vital teeth. They’re all code for the same thing: any pet tooth that is not the standard color is almost certainly dead and infected. This means that teeth which are purple, yellow, grey, or brown are very likely to be a significant problem for your pet.
Fractured Teeth
Broken teeth are not uncommon in cats & dogs. Depending on the tooth, we recommend various options including root canal therapy, restoration, and extraction. Our goal is to minimize the pain and resolve the issue.
Abscessed Teeth
An abscessed tooth is an infected tooth which is most seen on the upper jaw just below the dog or cat's eye. Left untreated the bacteria can travel through the root system and affect the entire pet’s body.