Fractured teeth are often weakened due to a loss of tooth structure and function. Treating a dog’s fractured tooth with a prosthetic metal crown will restore much, if not all, of its lost function. Also, a fractured tooth with a metal crown will be far stronger and less likely to fracture again.
Crowns or “caps” are used to replace missing tooth structure with a fabricated metal material. Certainly, most teeth in dogs and cats do not require crown restoration, but in some cases they are beneficial. Hunting and working dogs frequently damage their canine teeth (fangs). Working dogs, such as those used for police and protection work, can place forces over 1500 pounds per square inch on their teeth when biting forcefully. Loss of function in these teeth can lead to decreased work performance.
In some cases, dogs wear down the backs of their fangs chewing on cages or fences. Often the enamel is completely worn away, weakening these teeth dramatically. These defects are commonly referred to as “cage chewer lesions”. Restoration with a full crown can decrease sensitivity and help prevent future fracture in these weakened teeth.
Metal crown creation and placement require 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 Creature Crowns, a trusted company that specializes in creating crowns for veterinary use. These crowns are most often made of metal alloys, such as nickel and chromium.
The fabricated metal crown is returned 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.