Dental crowns are an essential solution for people who suffer with chipped or cracked teeth. They provide a long-lasting solution that prevents bacteria from entering the hole in the tooth and allows you to eat and drink normally. Although no man-made material will be as strong as your natural tooth, dental crowns are the best viable alternative for both functional and aesthetic purposes.
What Is A Dental Crown?
A dental crown can come in many shapes and sizes, but essentially, a dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is used to cover and protect a broken part of your tooth. Dental crowns are designed to mimic the natural appearance of your tooth. They can last anywhere up to 20 years if they are well looked-after.
Patients are able to choose the type of crown they require. Options may include the following:
Porcelain crowns are by far the best material for mimicking the natural appearance of teeth. They are very popular with patients who want to keep the natural appearance of their teeth, especially if the affected tooth lies further forward in the mouth.
Typically used to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is being made. Ideal for alleviating the risk of bacteria and decay from entering the treatment site during the week where you will be waiting for your permanent crown. It is rare that stainless steel crowns are ever used permanently. When your permanent crown is ready, the steel crown is removed and replaced with the permanent crown.
Gold crowns are more uncommon now thanks to the introduction of porcelain and titanium, but they are still used. Typically, they replace molars in the back of the mouth.
Metal (Titanium) Crowns
Known for their durability and resistance to decay, titanium crowns are incredibly strong and long-lasting. They are the most long-lasting option but also the most expensive.
Metal crowns are very durable and are able to resist decay and withstand chewing and biting and are considered the most durable. Although they are arguably the strongest option, metal crowns (and gold) are more expensive than the alternatives.
Porcelain And Metal Hybrids
As the name suggests, this type of crown combines the durability of titanium with the mimicking ability of porcelain to create a hybrid tooth crown. They are typically used for front and back teeth to enhance both durability and aesthetics.
The least expensive type of crown, and are becoming less popular thanks to the introduction of porcelain and titanium crowns.
These are the crowns used to temporarily cover your teeth while you wait for your permanent crown. They are usually made from acrylic-based metals and typically remain in your mouth for up to two weeks. As they are not permanent, take care when eating to ensure you do not force it to break or come loose.
How Do I Know If I Need A Dental Crown?
It can often be unclear as to whether you require a dental crown or not. Before you receive treatment, your dentist will assess your mouth and the condition of your affected tooth to determine the most appropriate course of treatment. Some of the most common reasons for dental crown implants are:
- For aesthetics (if the tooth has become damaged through accidental trauma)
- When the tooth has become weak due to decay or a cavity
- To recover an implant
- To replace a large filling
- To cover and protect a damaged, natural tooth
- To protect a tooth post root canal
- To align your bite (if you suffer from malocclusion)