Dental imperfections like fractures, discolorations, and even gaps can negatively affect the appeal of your smile. Fortunately, you can correct dental problems with restorations like crowns. Dental crowns are custom caps that fit over your teeth to repair damage. Crowns restore the shape and size of your teeth, protect them from further damage, and enhance appearance.
Why Choose a Dental Crown?
Teeth can become damaged over time from decay, injury, and regular use. Grinding or bruxism can also change the size and shape of teeth. Here are some additional reasons you may need a crown:
- Cavities that are too big for fillings
- To secure bridges for missing teeth
- Cracked, broken, or worn down teeth
- To cover dental implants
- To protect and strengthen a tooth after a root canal treatment
- Repair deep discoloration
If you’ve any of the above issues, crowns can help you achieve your smile goals. Not only do crowns restore the functionality of your teeth and enhance your smile, but they also have a better success rate than other restorative treatments such as inlays and onlays.
What Type of Crowns Are There?
Dental crowns come in various materials ranging from metals like gold and silver to tooth-colored porcelain. Some of the common materials used for crowns include:
Porcelain fused to metal crowns consist of a metal base covered with porcelain. The porcelain can easily match the look of your natural teeth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are perfect for both front and back teeth or long bridges that require a strong metal base for support.
- Ceramic and Porcelain Crowns
Both ceramic and porcelain crowns are great for cosmetic purposes as they match your natural tooth color, making them ideal for front teeth. Other than aesthetics, they are also strong, durable, and perfect for people with metal allergies.
- Metal Crowns
Metal crowns come in various forms, including copper, gold, or silver alloys. They are highly durable as they don’t chip or break and do not wear away adjacent teeth. However, the metal colors can interfere with the appeal of your smile and are best used on back molars.
What Is the Difference Between a Temporary and a Permanent Crown?
A temporary crown refers to a crown that you wear while waiting for the dentist to craft a permanent crown. It is made at the dentist’s office and usually consists of stainless steel or acrylic-based materials. Permanent crowns, on the other hand, are made at the lab or in your dentist’s office using CEREC technology. They consist of highly durable material and act as final tooth restorations.
The Steps of Receiving a Crown
Getting a dental crown is a simple procedure that usually involves two visits for preparation and placement.
Step 1: Preparation
During your first visit, your dentist will prepare your tooth by shaping it. Doing so is necessary for achieving the right base shape for a proper fit. Your dentist will then wash and dry your tooth before taking an impression of your tooth and bite. This procedure facilitates the production of your permanent crown at the lab. Your dentist will then place a temporary crown that protects your tooth as you wait for your permanent crown.
Step 2: Placement
After one or two weeks, your permanent crown will be ready. During the second appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary crown. Any adjustments regarding color and fit are made during this stage until the new crown matches and fits perfectly. Finally, your dentist cements the crown on your tooth to restore your smile.
How to Care for Your Crown
Dental crowns don’t require any special treatment. Take care of your crowns by practicing proper hygiene, which involves brushing and flossing daily, and going for regular dental checkups. Note that crowns are subject to normal wear and tear, and you may have to replace them after some time. However, with proper care and maintenance, dental crowns can last you for up to 15 years.
The cost of your crown will depend on the type of material used and your insurance. Most plans will only cover part of the cost, so be sure to discuss everything with your dentist before treatment.