Simply put, a dental crown is a “cap” that is shaped and re-sized to the problem tooth. It is placed over that tooth to restore its size, shape as well as to strengthen the tooth. Once cemented in position, a dental crown will fully encase your tooth above the gum line and will effectively prevent any further decay.
Why Do I Need a Dental Crown?
A dental crown serves several different purposes:
- Your new dental crown will protect your weak tooth.
- Dental crowns effectively strengthen your cracked tooth by holding them together.
- Dental crowns will build up your worn down tooth’s profile.
- Your new dental crown will fill a tooth cavity even if little is left of your tooth.
- Dental bridges and dental implants can be covered by a dental crown too.
- Dental crowns will solve cosmetic issues such as a badly-shaped or a severely-discolored tooth.
Are there Different Types of Dental Crowns?
Permanent dental crowns are available in all-ceramic or all-porcelain, all-resin, metal, and a combination of metal-fused-to-porcelain materials. Analyzing these different options in more detail, here are the major differences between the different materials:
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain: While not as strong as the metal/porcelain amalgams, all-ceramic or porcelain dental crowns do offer the most natural effect and can be made to blend in completely with your other teeth. And if you suffer from metal allergies too, these dental crowns are your best option and really do make the best choice for your front teeth.
- All-resin: these dental crowns work out less expensive than the other dental crown types, but they do have a tendency to wear down faster and are more inclined to fracture-failures than the other options.
- Metal: the use of gold alloy or base-metal alloy such as chromium or nickel is still quite common with some dentists. Metal dental crowns also hold the advantage of having to remove less of your tooth’s structure and are more versatile when it comes to wearing issues such as chewing force. The natural metal color however is not everyone’s first choice so metal dental crowns are more likely found at the back of the mouth where they are hidden from all but the broadest smile.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal: these dental crowns make a good choice for front or back teeth because of their flexibility when it comes to color matching to your surrounding teeth. Because it is a strong combination, wearing to opposing teeth can occur and the porcelain content can chip or break off.
Temporary Dental Crowns:
By definition, this is never a long-term solution and really is not intended to be. Temporary dental crowns are made by your dentist and are a stop-gap provision while your permanent choice of dental crown is being made up, usually in a dental laboratory. Acrylic or stainless steel are normally used to make them. Additionally, dentistry has evolved into a multifaceted medical profession, giving us many more options to preserve our natural teeth. It was not that many years back when previous generations were considered fortunate to still have their natural teeth beyond their 30s.
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