A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that encircles an entire tooth to restore its appearance and function. It is the common procedure dentists recommend for a misshapen, weak, severely discoloured, damaged and broken tooth. If you are considering this dental treatment, knowing its different types helps you choose which suits your needs.
Read on to find out more.
The following are the different types of crowns you can consider:
- Gold Crowns
These metal crowns are made of pure gold alloy or combined with other metals, such as nickel, chromium or palladium. This combination of materials reduces the cost of a pure gold dental crown. Due to their colour, dentists recommend these for restoring molars and premolars where they are not visible. However, some patients request to use them for the front teeth for fashion statements.
- All-Porcelain Crowns
These are one of the most popular types because they resemble the colour and look of natural teeth. They are most recommended for restoring front teeth that lost a large portion of their structure. All-porcelain crowns usually require two dental appointments. On your first visit, your dentist will prepare your tooth for the porcelain crown to be fitted. On your second visit, which is usually after two weeks, they will remove your temporary crown and place your permanent crown.
- Porcelain-Fused-To-Metal Crowns
Also called PFM crowns, these are made of metal alloy on the inside and porcelain on the outside. This combination gives them the strength of metal and the aesthetics of porcelain. It is also why they are known as the gold standard for repairing damaged teeth.
Their main advantages are that they are durable and long-lasting, lasting up to 15 years or more. They are also visually appealing because they match the colour of your natural teeth. While they offer the benefits of metal and porcelain, they are relatively more affordable. Their most significant disadvantage is they can leave a dark line near the gum line over time.
- Zirconia Crowns
These are newer types of crowns made of a white powdered ceramic material called zirconium oxide. They are relatively tooth-coloured and can be used for front and back teeth. But they are also more opaque than your natural teeth, so they may be quite noticeable if you put them on your front teeth.
Popular Dental Crown Materials To Choose From
Here are the most common dental crown materials:
As metal crowns, they are the sturdiest material used in dental crown procedures. The biggest advantage of gold crowns is they are more resistant to breakage and wear, so they can last for a few decades, primarily if you practice good oral hygiene. They are also less likely to damage the adjacent teeth, like silver and porcelain. In addition, they can help save a lot of your tooth structure because your dentist trims your tooth lesser. On the other hand, their noticeable colour is their most significant drawback.
Designed to mimic the natural appearance and texture of your real teeth, porcelain is most recommended for front teeth. They are also durable but not as long-lasting as metal crowns. But, they are a popular choice for patients with mental allergies. Their most significant drawback is they can be expensive.
These are ceramic or specially called zirconium oxide. They are stronger than porcelain and other metal alloys and can withstand decades of chewing. They also cause less stress and damage to their adjacent teeth. Like porcelain, they are biocompatible with the human body. In addition, they only need minimal tooth preparation, so the process is shorter, or you can have them on the day of your fitting. Their drawback is that they can be more expensive than other crown materials.
Silver tooth crowns are often made from amalgam composed of tin, mercury, silver and copper. They function like porcelain and metal crowns but also have distinct advantages. They are highly durable that can withstand heavy chewing. They are also relatively more affordable than other crown materials, making them a cost-effective option. However, they can cause more damage to the adjacent teeth, and their noticeable dark colour is their most significant drawback.
What Are The Reasons To Get A Dental Crown?
If you have the following conditions, you may benefit from dental crowns:
- Your tooth is fractured or broken and needs to be fixed.
- You have a tooth that is significantly worn down due to bruxism or other reasons.
- Your tooth has undergone a root canal treatment and needs to be protected.
- You have a dental implant and need a crown to cover it.
- You need to replace old metal fillings with a new, more aesthetically pleasing material.
- You have misshapen or discoloured teeth.
- Your teeth are damaged due to injury, tooth decay or other dental issues.
- You have a dental bridge that crowns need to secure.
How Do Dentists Perform A Dental Crown Procedure?
Here’s a summary of the typical steps in a dental crown procedure:
First, your dentist will take an x-ray of the affected tooth to check its health. This includes the surrounding teeth and determines if a dental crown is the best option.
If you opt for a dental crown, your dentist will then proceed to take a dental impression of your tooth using advanced digital imaging technology. This will be used to create a model of your tooth so the crown can be custom-made.
- Crown Preparation
Your dentist will numb the affected area with local anaesthesia and trim the tooth to make room for the crown.
Once the tooth is trimmed, they will take another impression to create an accurate model of your tooth. They will send the design to a dental lab that fabricates your permanent crown.
At this point, you may be given a temporary crown to protect your exposed tooth while waiting for the permanent one. It usually takes around two weeks to be ready.
- Permanent Crown Placement
Once your permanent crown is ready, your dentist will numb the affected area again. They will remove the temporary crown and check the fit of the permanent crown and make sure it’s comfortable.
Finally, they will carefully cement it to your tooth.
- Aftercare and Maintenance
Once the procedure is done, you will be given special instructions on taking care of your new dental crown. This includes avoiding hard and sticky foods and practising good oral hygiene. You will also need to schedule regular appointments with your dentist so they can check the condition of your dental crowns.
What Is The Lifespan Of Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns’ lifespan depends on the type of materials used and how you take care of them. Porcelain crowns can last around 6 to 15 years. Depending on your oral habits and hygiene, this can be shorter or longer. Gold crowns can last around 25 years with proper care. Zirconia crowns are the most durable, with a lifespan of about 15 to 25 years or more.
A dental crown is a versatile dental prosthesis that can be used to address a variety of dental problems. They are made of different materials, giving you a few choices, based on your circumstances, including your budget. Also, you must consider their benefits and drawbacks before avoiding unrealistic expectations. Remember that no dental treatment is perfect.
Narre Warren Dental Care is a state-of-the-art dental clinic with a team of dentists with years of experience performing dental crown procedures. They take time to help you understand what the treatment involves and what you can expect. We offer different crown materials to cater to your needs and budget.
This depends on various factors, including your location, the type of crown you want, and dental insurance, if any. According to the 2020 Australian national dental fee survey, both porcelain and ceramic crowns can cost up to $2,100.
Dental crowns have many benefits, such as helping to improve the appearance of your teeth, protect them from further damage, restore damaged and decayed teeth to their normal function and help prevent tooth loss. They are also durable and long-lasting.
Risks of dental crowns are possible allergic reactions to the materials used, chipping or breaking of the crown, infection at the site of the procedure, nerve damage, root canal failure and sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures. Also, crowns are still prone to tooth decay and cavities due to poor dental hygiene. This can then result in gingivitis or gum disease.
Dental crowns don’t hurt during the procedure because you will receive local anaesthetics. They may sometimes hurt after the procedure if they are not fitted correctly or if the materials used are not of good quality. But overall, they are considered safe and painless.
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