One of the marvels of modern dentistry is the dental crown. They can be made from a variety of materials and can be used to treat several different problems. Basically, a crown is a sort of cap that is put over a tooth to either protect it or to improve a person’s appearance. When it is cemented into place, it covers the entire visible part of a tooth above the gum line.
There can be many reasons why a dental crown is necessary. A tooth may be weak because of being cracked, broken or severely worn down. The tooth may have had to be filled to a great extent because of such a large cavity that it is no longer able to withstand the pressures of biting anymore. The tooth may have had to have a root canal performed on it. The tooth may be crooked or discolored. Dental crowns are also used when a false tooth has been implanted into the jaw. Whatever the reason, the basic problem is that something is wrong with the tooth, and a crown will both protect the tooth and make it more visually appealing.
Permanent crowns are made from a variety of materials. Which material is used depends on factors such as where the tooth is located, what forces it will need to withstand (biting strength, chewing, etc.). It can also be based on a patient’s allergy, such as an allergy to metal. The basic materials used are metal, porcelain which is fused to metal, all resin or all ceramic.
Metals used for crowns are made from gold alloys, other alloys or a base metal alloy such as nickel. Metal crowns can withstand the forces of biting and chewing better than other crown alternatives. They last longest of any type of crown. They rarely ever break. Because of the difference in appearance between metal and normal teeth, metal crowns are usually used for back molars, where they are less visible. Because it is easy to work with, using a gold alloy is one way of making a crown that will fit extremely well.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are created by first making a dental crown out of metal and then fusing a porcelain veneer over that. These types of crowns combine the strength of metal with the more aesthetically-pleasing look of porcelain. Sometimes only the part of the crown that will be showing will have the porcelain veneer added. While these caps are stronger and last longer than all resin or all ceramic crowns, they do have some drawbacks. It is possible for the porcelain veneer to chip. They can wear from biting and/or chewing.
All resin crowns are usually less expensive than other types. They do have drawbacks, however. They will wear down over time and have to be replaced at some point.
All porcelain crowns are the best in appearance. Porcelain will more closely resemble natural teeth and can be matched to the natural color of a person’s teeth. The problems that can occur with porcelain are that they can chip and break more easily; they will wear down eventually and also need replacements.