A dental crown is like a tooth-shaped cap that’s cemented over a severely damaged tooth by a dentist. It strengthens the damaged structure of the denticle and improves its appearance.
Usually, crowns are considered as a viable treatment option when the affected teeth are cracked and cannot be repaired by a simple filling.
Besides improving the appearance and holding cracked tooth pieces together, a crown can also work as a support structure for a dental bridge. These crowns are manufactured at labs according to the impression of the teeth that they would cover.
Once in place, they can last for a minimum of seven years. However, with proper oral hygiene, you won’t have to worry about getting them replaced for as many years.
Different types of crowns for teeth
Crows can be made from ceramic materials, zirconia, porcelain infused zirconia, porcelain fused metals, gold, and palladium. These options are popularly preferred around the world.
Ceramic crown made from porcelain-based material is considered an ideal option teeth due to its natural color.
Crowns made from porcelain infused metals are considered durable and can offer even stronger bond than a usual porcelain crown.
Crowns made from gold alloys also remain a hot favorite for old-timers. The material does not wear away the tooth and provides a strong bond to hold together the damaged denticle for decades.
When most of the affected tooth is too healthy to be removed, dentists recommend crowns made from base metal alloys that are corrosion resistant.
Dentist selects crown type after considering factors like the condition of the denticle to be treated, the filling materials to be used, and the durability necessary for the cap. If the patient suffers from tooth grinding, a crown made from porcelain can be the best option.
Crown fitting procedure
- As the first step towards preparing the tooth for treatment, the dentist checks if the cavity has reached the dental pulp. If it has reached the nerve, the patient first needs a root canal to clean the infected pulp.
- The dentist might recommend taking a few x-rays for checking the extent of the damage.
- Then, depending on the number of natural tooth parts remaining after removing the vulnerable decayed portions, the dentist needs to build a foundation that supports the cap. If required, the dentist would also file down the affected denticle and make space for the crown.
- Some dental offices follow the traditional method that involves making an impression of the tooth with a rubber-like material and sending the same to the local lab to make the crown. Dental offices may also use digital technology for getting the tooth impression. A temporary cap or filling material is placed on the tooth with the help of weak cement until the permanent one arrives.
- After the crown arrives from the lab, it is adjusted, polished to ensure its appearance matches precisely with the surrounding teeth. Then it is cemented permanently on the selected tooth during the second visit. Overall, the patient needs to visit the dental office twice.
- If the clinic has its in-house unit (like CAD-CAM) to manufacture crowns, the dental care expert might finish the entire job in a single visit.
- Brushing, flossing, and maintaining a good overall oral health can make sure the crown lasts for a lifetime.
Dental crowns pros and cons
Crowns are considered as one of the most efficient treatment option to save the natural tooth structure and restore its functioning. Only the decayed portion of the denticle is removed.
Like a coin that has two sides, crowns come with their set of advantages and disadvantages as well.
Benefits of dental crowns
- Holds together and supports the healthy tooth structure
- Protects natural tooth structure after root canal
- Acts as a natural looking cover for dental implant
- Improves the appearance of teeth
- The treatment success rate is high compared to other restorative treatments
- Lasts for seven-plus years
Disadvantages of dental crown
- Only a trained and experienced dentist can install and adjust the crown to ensure it fits perfectly.
- If fitted improperly, the crown can damage or obstruct teeth on the opposite jaw while chewing.
- Some portions of the vulnerable tooth structure need to be removed, drilled, and this happens to be an extensive, irreversible process.
- To avoid refitting or replacement, a dental surgeon needs to use an appropriate amount of cement and ensure it does not become loose at a later stage.
- Cost for treatment depends on the materials used in the crown. However, it can be more expensive compared to other restorative procedures.
Are crowns painful?
Preparing the tooth, taking an accurate impression, and fitting the crown has become less complicated due to advancements in dentistry. Plus, doctors administer medications or anesthetic to ensure the patient does not experience discomfort while preparing the tooth and taking impressions. Crowns remain in place and do not cause pain if the patient follows proper instructions concerning eating and drinking.
When is a dental crown needed?
Dentists recommend it if the infected tooth requires a major filling, root canal, or faces cosmetic (appearance) issues.
How strong are crowns on front teeth?
Natural colored caps are designed to blend perfectly with the front teeth. They remain lesser noticeable and realistic. A proper process needs to be followed for placing a crown on any of the front teeth. Thus, opting for an experienced dentist is crucial.
Crowns on the front teeth remain strong and appear natural. However, porcelain ones do need extra care. The patient should avoid biting hard candies, chewing on ice, and other hard items. It is advisable to reduce the consumption of food, drinks that leave behind a stain on the teeth as the stain-proof crown would stand out in between other discolored teeth.
If you wish to get suggestions regarding the best possible treatment options for restoring your damaged tooth, you can consider fixing an appointment at Roswell (GA) based TruCare Dentistry.