A crown is a tooth-shaped cap covering a worn-out or broken tooth. Its objective is to protect and restore the tooth’s shape, size, and strength. The dental crown is cemented into place and guards the visible area up to the gum line.
This treatment avoids further clinical complications and improves the patient's smile. Dental crowns usually last between five to 15 years, depending on how your teeth wear and your oral hygiene.
Dental crowns are the usual alternative when dental decay has advanced, and fillings do not solve the problem. A lack of regular check-ups and poor hygiene usually causes tooth deterioration.
You may be a candidate for a dental crown if you notice the following symptoms:
- A broken tooth
- Dental weakness or worn-out teeth
- An uncovered dental implant
- A misshapen or discolored tooth
- An uncovered root canal
- A loose dental bridge
- Pain or discomfort while eating
- Teeth sensitivity to air, pressure, cold or hot beverages
There are two different types of dental crowns. Choosing the appropriate type of dental crown will depend on your needs, the state of your tooth, and Dr. Sunitsch's recommendation for your particular case.
The difference between these two types is the area of the tooth that will be covered with the crown.
Traditional crowns are full coverage restorations, meaning they cover the whole tooth. They are the most common option to restore a weakened or broken tooth when a filling isn't enough to treat dental decay. By covering the whole tooth, traditional crowns can offer the tooth maximum support for function.
Onlays and 3/4 are dental crowns that do not cover the tooth entirely. They may be appropriate if the tooth still has a strong structure worth preserving.
Different materials can be used to make your dental crown. The types of materials used for dental crowns may include
The metals used for dental crowns may consist of gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium. Metal crowns are a durable option and usually resist wear-down and chewing pressure.
Metal crowns might be your best choice to cover up an out-of-sight molar or tooth since aesthetics is not this material's priority.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal is usually a good option for someone looking for the benefits of aesthetics and durability. Porcelain fused to metal crowns used to be the only option for front teeth since the material matches the natural color of your teeth.
The porcelain cap placed on top of the metal crown tends to wear down faster and might break easily if used for high-pressure areas like molars. That is why porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns may only be partially porcelain and metal in places where chewing occurs.
All-resin dental crowns are a cost-effective and aesthetic option for a damaged tooth. However, it doesn’t last as long as other crown materials and might need constant retouches.
This material is the best option if you are looking for an unnoticeable crown in the front of your mouth or have metal allergies. There have been many advances in the types of porcelain used for dental crowns. Nowadays, many porcelains used in dentistry are as resilient as all-metal or porcelain fused to metal crowns. All-porcelain crowns can now be placed in areas where they may be subject to high pressure, such as on molars.
We also offer pediatric restorative dentistry services if you seek treatment for your kids.
The first step for a dental crown placement involves examining the area, which includes X-rays of the tooth and bone. Based on the condition of the tooth, a root canal treatment might have to be performed first if there is a risk of infection or the tooth's soft tissue is damaged.
Once the consultation for your case is done, the process for dental crowns is as follows:
- The area to be treated is numbed with local anesthesia.
- The tooth is physically prepared and reduced in size to make space for the crown.
- The dentist may use a filling material if the tooth needs a sturdier structure called a “build-up.”
- A copy and impression of the tooth are made.
- These are sent to a laboratory where the crown is fabricated.
- A temporary crown is placed to guard the reshaped tooth.
- Once the crown is ready and sent back to the dentist's office, the temporary crown is removed, and a permanent crown is cemented into place. This process happens during a follow-up appointment.
Following a good oral hygiene routine will ensure the lifespan of your dental crowns. This includes:
- Brushing and flossing constantly
- Seeing your dentist for regular check-ups
- Avoiding teeth-wearing habits like chewing ice, biting your nails, or grinding your teeth
If these complications show up, we recommend visiting your dentist:
- Pain, sensitivity, or discomfort
- Chipped crown
- Loose crown
- Gum inflammation or bleeding