A Basic Guide to Dental Crowns: Uses, Types, and Procedure

A Basic Guide to Dental Crowns: Uses, Types, and Procedure

Feb 08, 2022

Over time, your teeth can crack, chip, fracture, lose shape, or discolor due to factors such as dental trauma and tooth decay. It can affect your smile and chewing ability, as well as affect the quality of your life. If not treated, teeth damage can also lead to further tooth loss and bone issues. Your dentist may recommend dental crowns to save your existing tooth and prevent further damage.

Dental crowns are tooth-colored and shaped caps placed over damaged teeth to hide the damage. Since the crown covers the tooth’s visible part, it restores its size, shape, appearance, and strength. It’s worth noting that dental crowns aren’t ideal for everyone. For instance, if you have only minor tooth damage, your dentist may recommend alternative treatments such as veneers and bonding.

You should first visit a dental office near you for an exam to see if dental crowns are the right treatment for your condition. The dentist will examine your mouth and tooth’s condition to determine the most appropriate treatment. If the tooth damage is too significant to repair with a crown, the tooth may have to be removed and replaced with a dental implant, bridge, or denture.

Uses of Dental Crowns

A dental crown is ideal for the following situations:

  • To save a severely decayed tooth
  • To repair a broken, cracked, or chipped tooth
  • To strengthen a weak or worn-out tooth
  • To cover a tooth with a large filling
  • To restore the shape and size of a damaged tooth
  • To improve the appearance of a deeply discolored or stained tooth
  • A crown is attached to the anchor teeth that support a dental bridge in place
  • To cover severely misshapen or uneven teeth
  • To strengthen and protect a dental implant
  • To a cosmetic modification
  • To save a tooth that’s at high risk of tooth decay

Types of Dental Crowns

You can choose any of the following crown materials, based on your cosmetic needs, the location of the damaged tooth, and budget.

  • Alloys make metal crowns of gold, platinum, or base-metal alloys such as nickel-chromium and cobalt-chromium. Gold crowns resist damage and withstand great biting and chewing forces thanks to their incredible strength. The only major downside is the visible metallic color, which is not for everyone. For these reasons, they are best suited for molars and premolars.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns – If you’re looking to match the strength and have aesthetically pleasing results, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns may be your ideal solution. Porcelain blends well with the color of the natural tooth and is placed on the outer part of the crown while the metallic part lies inside.

On the downside, sometimes the underlying metallic part can show at the gum line through a dark line. The crown can also cause wear to the opposing teeth and they tend to chip or break off easily. These crowns are ideal for both back and front-tooth restorations though.

  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns – Thanks to their tooth-looking shade, crowns made of ceramic or porcelain materials blend well with the natural teeth. They are best suited for front and back teeth.
  • All-resin crowns blend well with natural teeth and are among the most affordable. However, they are more prone to wear and fractures than other crowns.

Dental Crowns Procedure

The process of getting a crown can either be a same-day or multi-day procedure. The procedure involves:

  • Same-Day Procedure

With same-day crowns, you won’t need a temporary crown. The dentist begins by administrating local anesthetic to prevent pain and discomfort. Next, the dentist shaves the tooth’s enamel and takes a digital picture of your mouth. The dentist uses the image scans to create the crown in the office, which takes approximately 1-2 hours.

Once the crown is ready, the dentist cements it into place, and you’ll be all set to go home. Please note that not every dentist has the technology to make same-day crowns. Consult your dentist whether the option is available and the estimated cost.

  • Multi-Day or Traditional Crowns

With traditional crowns, the dentist begins by numbing the area around the damaged tooth. Next, the dentist files down a part of your tooth’s enamel and takes impressions of the tooth and surrounding teeth. The records are sent to the lab, and the dentist puts a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it. When the permanent crown is ready, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the customized one in place.

Schedule an Appointment Today

For more information about dental crowns treatment, contact Lexington Dental Group today.

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