Just about everyone knows someone who has a crown, if they don’t have one of their own. Today, we’re going to take a look at what you need to know about dental crowns. This will include why the procedure may be needed, how it works, the recovery process, and the different materials crowns are available in. If you think you may need restorative dentistry services, from crowns to bridges and everything in between, call White Smiles Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment.
-Why Crowns Are Needed
Dental crowns, which are also referred to as “caps,” are used to preserve a damaged tooth’s functionality. This can be implemented to protect a tooth that’s been cracked, bring back the functionality of a tooth with excessive amounts of decay, or to replace an existing crown. While crowns are absolutely helpful in restoring a tooth’s function, there are many different treatment options available to dentists these days. It’s important to discuss all of your options with your dentist prior to choosing a full coverage crown.
When undergoing the crown procedure, your dentist will prepare the tooth and make a mold to be sent to a dental laboratory. From there, a fitted temporary crown will be made to keep the tooth safe while the final crown is being made at the lab. Once the final crown has been completed, you’ll go in at a later date to have it cemented or adhesively bonded to the damaged tooth. Technology has been developing in recent years to utilize CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/manufacturing) tech to produce a 3D image of the teeth. That technology, when located in the dentist’s office, allows them to produce the permanent crown that day, without the need for a temporary crown or second appointment for final cementation.
Once the permanent crown has been implemented, you’ll receive directions from your dentist regarding the care of your newly restored tooth. General advice recommends proper oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily. While you should already be following these practices, it’s especially important when dealing with a dental crown. Following proper dental habits will remove plaque from the area where your gums meet the crown, as well as preventing dental decay and gum disease. Other recommendations include not chewing hard foods, ice, or other hard objects, as it can damage your crown. This includes not chewing your fingernails or grinding your teeth.
There are three main materials used for full coverage dental crowns — porcelain-fused-to-metal, all-ceramic (aka all-porcelain), and gold. Which material is selected will depend on a variety of factors, including strength requirements, the durability of the material, how much restorative space is available, and the aesthetic and clinical demands of the situation.
This option is chosen as a strong, durable, and aesthetic treatment. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal crowns require the proper preparation of the underlying tooth structure allows enough room for the thickness of the material chosen. The aesthetic appeal of this type of crown will depend on the artistic skill of the laboratory technician creating it. One thing to keep in mind with this option is that it may reveal the underlying metal or gold margin along the gum line as the gums recede when we get older. While some patients choose this option, many replace it later down the line to preserve the aesthetic appeal. However, a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown with an all porcelain collar can prevent this issue and maintain its appearance for longer.
All-Ceramic crowns are predominantly made up of zirconia or aluminous. This allows for a metal-free option that carries many benefits. When the metal is removed from the crown, it makes it less thick than other crowns. This makes it a good option for treatment when space is limited. It also makes for a more lifelike tooth appearance, which is ideal for people who want to maintain a natural aesthetic in their smile. While all-ceramic crowns are continually changing materials to make them more strong and durable, it’s important you exercise caution when they are applied in the areas of the mouth that require heavy function. Research continues to explore ways to reduce these vulnerabilities.
The least popular of crown options for aesthetic appeal, gold is still an option in some cases. Gold crowns may be better options for patients with strong bites or grinding or clenching issues. This is because it is able to provide stronger support for the remaining healthy tooth structure. Gold crowns are quite durable, making them an ideal option for teeth in the rear of the mouth (i.e. molars), which is good for aesthetic purposes as well since they won’t be very visible. Gold also often lasts longer and requires less preparation than the other options. It is also less abrasive to the opposing tooth than other crown materials when chewing, which helps avoid issues with the teeth being worn down.
While crowns are not the right option for everyone, they can help restore the functionality of a damaged tooth quite well. If you would like to learn more about restorative dentistry in Albertville, call White Smiles Family Dentistry today.