Getting a dental crown has become a relatively common outpatient dental procedure, performed regularly by dentists across the world. In the 21st century, chipping a tooth is no longer a big deal – you can simply crown it! As the name suggests, dental crowns are designed to fit on top of an existing tooth that has been filed down to a manageable size. Crowns are an alternative to cases where fillings or other types of restorations are impossible. And while words like ‘filing’ and ‘tooth’ may make the procedure seem scary, it is actually something you can get over in around 4 hours!
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are essentially teeth caps. They are made from stainless steel, metal alloys, ceramic, zirconia or porcelain. Laboratories mould them to the exact shape of your original (lost) tooth and the dentist colour match it for finesse. Certain cases make root canal or filling treatments impossible. This includes chipped or broken teeth, teeth with extreme decay and worn down teeth. That is when dental crowning can help.
What are The Types of Dental Crowns Available?
Depending on the extent of decay and replacement, your dentist may suggest getting an onlay crown or a 3/4 crown. An onlay crown covers the entire tooth. A 3/4 crown covers the only 3/4th of the tooth from the top. They do not require as extensive filing. You can choose crowns from the following materials:
These are the toughest and most long-lasting material for crowns. They can withstand biting, grinding and gnashing. However, metal crowns stand out because of their metallic colour. Hence, they are preferable for molars and pre-molars.
These are metal crowns with a layer of porcelain infused on top. Porcelain crowns are a great alternative to metal crowns. They retain their ability to withstand strong chewing forces while providing a more natural teeth colour. However, sometimes the thin porcelain layer may wear off and need restoration.
Ceramic crowns are the most indistinguishable of all. Unlike porcelain (which has a too-white colour), ceramics can be colour matched with yellowish teeth as well. More recently, Zirconia crowns are extremely strong and are suitable for anterior and posterior teeth.
Resin crowns are the least expensive crowns and take half the time to install. However, they can break down easily and discolour fast. You can still consider them as a temporary and quick alternative.
How long do Dental Crowns last?
With good care, your crown can serve you for anywhere between five to fifteen years! Crowns do not require any special care, other than the regular oral hygiene every one must maintain. This includes brushing and flossing twice a day. If you have a habit of grinding your teeth in your sleep, consider wearing retainers to prevent the wearing down of the crown.
How does a Dental Crown work?
The dental crown works as a protective cap on top of your original tooth. It retains the same shape, size and colour as your original tooth. Hence, it can help you regain your chewing strength. It is also a cosmetic dentistry treatment, in that it helps restore the patient’s natural aesthetics. While the actual procedure of fitting the crown may only take a couple of hours, you may have to visit the dentist for a period of weeks to complete the entire process.
On the diagnostic visit, your dentist determines the need for a crown. In case of extreme decay, or if there is any dental infection in the tooth, they might even suggest getting a root canal treatment first. This may take anywhere from one to three weeks depending upon the extent of the decay or infection. In preparation for the crown, the dentist shapes the tooth down and takes a mould on the first visit. He then makes a temporary acrylic crown based off the mould and temporarily cements it on the tooth. The mould or impression is sent to the dental laboratory for the construction of the final crown. This may take 2 weeks.
If your experience was favourable, then the temporary crown will be removed and replaced with the final permanent dental crown. Any adjustments will be done at this time. Your doctor may ask for a final follow-up to see how your eating habits have affected the crown.
How to Care For A Dental Crown?
As far as restorative dentistry goes, dental crowns are a great and almost indistinguishable replacement for damaged teeth. However, they are still not as strong as original tooth enamel.
The line where the dental crown meets your original tooth is susceptible to decay. Hence, avoid eating sticky food and maintain good oral hygiene at all times.
Conclusion: Should I Crown It?
Getting a dental crown is a painless process. If you are suffering from a broken or chipped tooth, it is best to speak to a qualified dentist and find out if you are a suitable candidate for a crowning treatment. Generally, some of the cost of a dental crown (as long as it is a medical necessity) is covered in most dental insurances.
Book a consultation with us today!
Give us a call 02 4732 1244 or inquire through our website at https://www.smithstreetdental.com.au/contact-us/ and ask your dentist today if a Crown is right for you.
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