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.
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
- 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.
- 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.