What Is A Dental Crown?
Simply put, a dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap. When placed on the tooth, it acts as a sleeve, fully encasing the tooth being covered. Using dental cement, the crown gets adhered to the tooth, blurring the line between tooth and gum line. The purpose of a dental crown is to restore a tooth’s shape, size, and appearance while simultaneously strengthening it.
Why Someone Would Need A Dental Crown
Dental crowns can be administered for both personal and health reasons. While some may personally choose to place a crown over an aesthetically displeasing tooth, some dentists deem it necessary for cracked or broken teeth. Other reasons include, but are not limited to, protecting weak teeth, to support a smaller tooth with a large filling, to secure dental bridges, or to cover a dental implant.
What About In Children?
Children may also need to undergo dental crown procedures. Reasons including tooth decay, taking preventative measures to reduce the risk of tooth decay, and having to decrease the use of general anesthesia may warrant the need for a dental crown.
Types Of Crowns
The reason for needing the dental crown dictates what dental crown material should be used. The options include metals, stainless steel, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all-resin, all-ceramic, and all-porcelain.
Stainless steel crowns are most commonly used among children. These prefabricated crowns are cost-effective and protect a tooth from decaying further. Stainless steel crowns serve as a temporary fix until a permanent crown is ready for fitting.
Metal crowns aren’t vulnerable to chipping or breaking, making them among the most durable of dental crowns. While these crowns won’t succumb to the harshness of biting and chewing, the unsubtle colors typically deter people from choosing this crown.
Porcelain-fused-to metal crowns are great for color matching. While these crowns do the best at giving the illusion of a real tooth, the porcelain material is prone to chippage.
All-ceramic/all-porcelain crowns, like the porcelain-fused-to-metal-crowns, embody a very natural look. For those with a metal allergy, any porcelain or ceramic crowns serve as great alternatives.
All-resin is by far the most cost-effective crown. These crowns work best on front or back teeth.
Temporary Vs. Permanent
Temporary crowns are designed to do just that - provide a temporary fix until the permanent crown is ready. Or, in some cases, a temporary crown is all that’s needed to fix a short-term tooth problem. While temporary crowns can be placed on in a speedy manner, permanent crowns are far more time consuming and require much stronger material. The most commonly used materials for permanent crowns are porcelain-fused-to-metal and metal.