Don’t forget about your teeth, or they’ll forget about you!
Dental crowns are a type of restorative procedure used when the existing crown of the tooth has been damaged and needs to be reproduced. A crown is a tooth shaped “cap” to replace the structure that was lost, they can also help reduce the chance of a tooth fracturing. Some circumstances where a crown tends to be a great option include; restoring extensive decay affecting a single tooth or multiple teeth, a cracked or fractured tooth, a tooth which has had a root canal performed, a crown placed on an implant. Crowns are also a great resource for your dentist to help you improve your smile or chewing function.
Types of Dental Crowns
- Gold Crown – this type of crown can be an alloy of gold, nickel, chromium, and others. Due to the strength of the all metal crown, less tooth structure must be removed, and structural integrity of the tooth is maintained. Metal crowns withstand the forces of chewing very well and tend to last longer than other types of crowns, however some feel that they are not as aesthetically pleasing. For this purpose they work great as crowns for the furthest back teeth. These teeth are not as easily visible when you open your mouth, but are very important for chewing.
- Porcelain fused to Metal Crown – this type of crown has an underlying layer of metal with a tooth colored porcelain on top. The crown color can be matched to the color of your neighboring teeth, and offers a very esthetic result. The metal gives the crown a much stronger structure, and the porcelain restores your smile with a more natural looking tooth.
- Ceramic or Porcelain Crowns – this type of crown allows for the regeneration of optimum appearance of a tooth being replaced. There are different fabrication processes and different materials available (feldspathic porcelain, alumina reinforced porcelain, lithium disilicate, zirconia.) Ceramic and porcelain crowns are most commonly used for front teeth.
- Composite Resin Crown – this type of crown is commonly used for a temporary crown. Composite resin crowns are more prone to fracture and do not possess the same strength or longevity that metal, ceramic, and porcelain crowns have.
Dental Crown Procedure
- First the dentist prepares the tooth surface, in order to make space for a crown that will have the proper shape and strength.
- The dentist then takes an impression of the prepared tooth in your mouth, to produce a stone model of the preparation. A temporary restoration is placed on the tooth to maintain space and to protect the tooth until the crown is ready for final placement.
- A permanent crown is fabricated to fit the tooth.
- When the crown is ready the dentist uses a special cement or bonding agent to permanently cement the crown into place.