Dental crowns are tooth shaped caps or coverings that encase the visible part of the tooth above the gum line. Crowns are permanent fixtures, and once cemented in place, they become the tooth’s new surface.
Our doctors at Kennestone Dental Designs in Marietta might recommend a crown for a variety of reasons. Procedures such as root canals or large fillings can sometimes compromise the structure of the tooth, and need some extra help to keep the work in place and the tooth healthy. But the most common reason we use dental crowns is to preserve the remaining tooth structure after another procedure. A crown might also be used to cover a cracked tooth and to give the it strength. Other common reasons dentists use crowns include holding a dental bridge in place or covering a dental implant.
There are several different types of crowns, based on the material they’re made of- including the most common, ceramic, porcelain, resin and stainless steel. There are many options and the dentist will factor in the strength of the material as well as the cosmetic result in making suggestions. Each type of material has advantages and disadvantages and Dr. Smith and Dr. Levine will let you know which material will be the best match for your specific situation.
Dental crowns are permanent fixtures, but they’re not invincible. A crown will typically last from five to eight years of wear, but can last much longer with good oral hygiene and dental supervision. It’s important that you avoid habits such as nail biting, crunching ice or hard candy, and teeth grinding that can compromise the crown after it’s been placed. You might also have certain restrictions based on the type of material used to make the crown. While the dentist can repair some chips, repairs do not last long and compromise the strength of the crown.
What are the Types of Crowns?
If you need a dental crown you will have a few things to consider when choosing the type of crown best for you and your dental needs, such as strength or cosmetic benefits. The most common options include metal, porcelain fused to metal, all porcelain, all ceramic, and resin.
The the most natural looking crowns available, all porcelain or all ceramic crowns reflect light in a similar way as a real tooth, so they closely resemble natural teeth. Ceramic crowns are not as durable and require special care procedures. For example, the material absorbs color differently and beverages such as coffee or tea might darken or stain the crown at a different rate than the natural tooth surface.
Since they are the strongest of all the crowns, they last much longer than most other materials. Metal crowns are a popular, time-tested option and among the most durable options in crowns. One disadvantage of metal crowns is that they are clearly visible and aesthetically better suited to less visible areas of the mouth.
Resin crowns wear down more quickly and need to be replaced sooner than other dental crown options, so this choice is aesthetically pleasing but not as durable as other options. Resin crown are typically the most affordable option in crowns.