So, your dentist has recommended that you get a dental crown. We venture that no one likes the idea of having to get a crown (unless it is a beauty queen or royalty type), but let us help you understand what a crown is and what the dental crown procedure entails.
What is a Tooth Crown?
In reference to teeth, there are two meanings, or uses, of the word crown. The crown is the visible part of the tooth that is covered by enamel, whereas a dental crown, also called a tooth cap or crown cap, is
is a procedure where a dentist applies an artificial cap on top of an existing tooth, to restore a broken, cracked or chipped tooth, or to cover a dental implant.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are different types of crowns separated by the different material compositions. The dental crown has evolved dramatically with findings in Asia dating back 4,000 years, in 700 B.C. Italy and 200 A.D. by the Etruscans. Gold was the original “gold standard” for dental crowns, followed by porcelain crowns being used in the 1770’s in Europe and 1903 in America, in the form of a porcelain jacket. Porcelain-fused-to-metal is our current “gold standard”, with metals like gold, platinum and base metal alloys (cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium), ceramic and resin still being used today.
Additional materials include cement and stainless steel, which is mainly used for temporary crowns while a permanent crown is being made.
Why Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are a great way to restore your appearance as well as ensure optimal dental functioning.
Crowns are often used to correct teeth that have been damaged due to accidents or biting into something too hard, and can also strengthen weak teeth, prevent fractures or shore up a tooth with a large filling and minimal natural tooth remaining.
They can also be used to remedy worn or misshapen teeth as well as conceal discolored teeth.
Aside from being aesthetically unappealing and embarrassing, empty spaces left by broken teeth can cause teeth to shift or loosen, misalign your bite and make eating and speaking difficult.
When there is not enough tooth structure to build upon, a crown is the perfect remedy. If one or more teeth are missing, a dental bridge is cemented to the adjacent natural teeth or dental implant, which act as anchors, with a crown is essentially used to keep it in place. Crowns are also “installed” after a root canal.
What a Dental Crown Procedure Entails
The dental crown process is much less invasive than some dental procedures and completed usually in two simple appointments. A patient is fitted with a temporary crown, that is shaped to match your existing teeth, while the permanent porcelain tooth crown is made. You will return to your dentists’ office shortly thereafter to receive your new, permanent tooth.
Crowns last from five to fifteen years depending on oral hygiene and general wear and tear. People who clench or grind their teeth, or those who chew their fingernails, ice or other hard objects are better suited to metal alloy-based crowns, due to their durability.
New Look Dental is happy to discuss the benefits and costs of the different materials and types of dental crowns to help you find a solution that best suits your needs and preferences.