Dental crowns are prosthetic devices that are fixed onto a person’s existing teeth, or on to dental implants. Crowns can also be used as part of dental bridges if a patient has a gap due to a missing tooth. Because dental crowns have so many uses, it is important to know the different types of dental crowns that are available, as well as their advantages.
What Is A Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a type of covering that is shaped like a tooth. It is placed over a tooth to help restore its strength, size and other features of the tooth.
When cemented into place, these dental crowns encase the visible portion of the tooth that is at and above the gum line.
What Are Dental Crowns Used For?
Dental crowns are often needed to protect a tooth that has become weakened because of decay. The crown will prevent the tooth from breaking, and it will also hold together parts of a tooth that has cracked.
Dental crowns may also be used to restore a tooth that is already broken or a tooth that is extremely worn down.
A dental crown may be necessary to cover a tooth that is severely discolored or misshapen.
Dental crowns are frequently used to cover a dental implant.
Children may also need to wear dental crowns on their baby(primary) teeth if a tooth has become so decayed that it will not support a filling. Dental crowns may also be worn by children who are at risk of tooth decay due to poor dental hygiene.
The Different Types Of Dental Crowns
Ceramic Dental Crowns
Porcelain-based, ceramic crowns are typically used to help restore the front teeth. Due to their texture and color, ceramic crowns are able to effortlessly blend in with a patient’s remaining teeth. They can also be enhanced with a touch of color to match the color of your natural teeth.
These dental crowns are not ideal for pre-molars or molars because ceramic can become brittle when it is exposed to heavy forces. The bite strength that is required for molars to chew food would make this type of crown less than optimal for these teeth.
Alloy Dental Crowns
Dental crowns that are made of gold alloy contain a mixture of other metals including copper. This alloy provides a number of advantages over other types of dental crowns.
These types of crowns are very strong, and they will not break. They will also not wear away the tooth underneath, and they are biocompatible with the gum tissue.
Porcelain-Fused To Metal Dental Crowns
This type of dental crown allows patients to have the best of both worlds. The porcelain part of the dental crown helps to offer the patient a tooth that looks natural, and the metal part helps to make the crown extremely strong and durable.
In order for patients to undergo this type of restoration, the dentist will have to remove a significant amount of the tooth’s structure.
Base Metal Dental Crowns
These types of dental crowns are not only strong, but they are also very resistant to corrosion. Base Metal dental crowns are also filled with metals that are very gentle against the other teeth they come into contact with.
Unlike the Porcelain-Fused to Metal dental crowns, these crowns only require that a small amount of the tooth structure is removed so the dentist can apply it.
Stainless Steel Dental Crowns
These crowns are used on permanent teeth temporarily. This type of crown helps to protect a tooth or a filling while the permanent dental crown is being made. The permanent crown will be composed of a different material.
Stainless steel crowns are commonly used for children because they do not require the patient to make multiple visits to the dentist. This makes them more affordable than dental crowns that are custom made.
What Is The Best Way To Care For A Temporary Dental Crown?
Keep in mind that the temporary crown is only in place until the permanent one is ready. However, there are some things patients can do to prevent further dental problems.
Patients should avoid chewing or eating sticky foods such as chewing gum or caramel because both have the potential to pull the crown off.
Patients will also be instructed to avoid using the side of the mouth with the temporary crown. This means the bulk of the chewing should be on the unaffected side.
Dental crowns help protect teeth due to injury, trauma or decay. Just as with your natural teeth, it is important to continue to practice good oral hygiene and schedule regular visits to the dentist.