When the surface of the tooth is damaged, crowns are an excellent way to restore the tooth to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens a tooth’s structure when it cannot be repaired with fillings or other types of restorations.
Why Are Dental Crowns Needed?
Crowns protect weak teeth from decay or breaking and in some cases used to hold a cracked tooth together. They are used to restore worn down or broken teeth and cover discolored or misshapen teeth. In addition, they also give additional support to fillings, securing dental bridges and cover dental implants.
There are various types of crowns available which are composed of metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic. Metal crowns consist of gold alloy or a base-metal and require less removal of tooth structure. A plus to having metal crowns is that the wear down on opposing teeth is minimal compared to other crown materials. Metal crowns also have a longer lasting durability and withstand biting and chewing better than other types of crowns. The only downside to metal crowns is the metallic color which is why they are most often used for out-of-site molars.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal is another type of dental crown. They can be color matched to adjacent teeth unlike the metal crowns mentioned above. The porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, however, do not hold up as strong as metal crowns and cause more wear-down on opposing teeth. The reason behind the popularity of porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns is the fact that they look most like real teeth compared to any other crown. However, the metal under the porcelain may show through as a dark line. These crowns are commonly used for front or back teeth.
Another crown which is less expensive is the all-resin crown. Compared to porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns the all-resin crowns are more prone to fractures and wear down more quickly when compared to other crowns.
Duration also plays a role when considering dental crowns. Temporary crowns can be produced at the dental office but permanent crowns must be created in a laboratory. The materials used to make temporary crowns are acrylic and stainless steel. They can be used as a temporary solution while waiting on permanent crowns to be produced in the laboratory.
The steps involved with getting crowns usually include at least two dental consultations which could also include x-rays. X-rays are used to determine the root complexities as well as bone surrounding the tooth. Before the crown is made, we will numb your tooth and gum tissue. Then the tooth must be filed down so that the crown can be capped over the tooth. Once the tooth has been prepared accordingly your dentist will make an impression of the tooth receiving the crown. Your dentist will also analyze surrounding teeth to ensure that your bite is not hindered by the new crown. You will receive a temporary crown while your new crown is being created.
Once an impression of your tooth has been sent to our laboratory, you can expect to return within two to three weeks wherein the temporary crown will be removed and the new crown will be cemented into place.