If you want a smile that’s your crowning glory, you may need a crown to cover a tooth and restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance.
It can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth left. It can be used to attach a bridge, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that’s already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It’s also used to cover a dental implant.
If your dentist recommends a crown, it’s probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist’s primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright — literally, your crowning glory!!
What is it made from?
The look and function of a crown are considered when choosing the material most suitable for you. Your dentist will consider the tooth location, the position of the gum tissue, the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, the color or shade of the tooth and the function of the tooth.
What Types of Crowns are Available?
Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.
1. Metals used in crowns include gold alloy, other alloys (for example, palladium) or a base-metal alloy (for example, nickel or chromium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns, and tooth wear to opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, they rarely chip or break. The metallic color is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.
2. Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
3. All-resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
4. All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.
5. Temporary versus permanent. Temporary crowns can be made in your dentist’s office whereas permanent crowns are made in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are made of acrylic or stainless steel and can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed by the dental laboratory.
How is a crown placed?
Several steps are involved and two dental visits are generally needed to complete the treatment. The dentist prepares the tooth by removing its outer portion to accommodate the thickness of the crown. If the tooth has a filling, a part of the material maybe left in place to serve as a foundation for the crown.
An impression is made to provide an exact model of the prepared tooth. Your dentist along with the lab technician (following the dentists instructions), then uses the model to make the crown according to its size and shape.
Caring for your crown To prevent damage to the crown, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects, such as pencils. This is especially important for tooth colored crowns. Brush twice a day, floss or use an interdental cleaner once a day to remove plaque. See your dentist regularly for examination and professional cleaning.