A tooth crown is a dental restoration process that involves placing a “tooth cap” over a damaged tooth, over and above the gum line. It allows a dentist to encase visible areas of the tooth, and eventually serves as the new outer surface of the tooth.
Unlike dentures that are removable, tooth crowns are fixed prosthetic devices that are cemented onto existing teeth or implants by dentists. These cannot be manually removed or taken out.
When are tooth crowns recommended?
Tooth crowns can be recommended by a dentist due to various reasons:
- To hold together parts of a cracked tooth or protect a weak one from further fracturing
- To protect a worn-out weak tooth from further decaying
- To support an already-filled tooth where there isn’t enough tooth remaining
- To cover a dental implant
- To cover a discoloured tooth or poorly shaped tooth
- To protect a tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment
- For cosmetic reasons
Benefits of tooth crowns
Tooth crowns have many cosmetic and functional benefits, as below:
Strengthening a damaged tooth
One of the most common uses of dental crowns is strengthening damaged tooth through its cover or “cap”. Teeth with large fillings are often structurally weak. Sometimes, fillings break off during the chewing process, creating areas where food can get trapped. This trapped food leads to gum infection and tooth decay. Crowning helps prevent this by shielding the tooth with a protective cap that is cemented over the tooth.
Changing shape of teeth
Crowning assists in changing the shape of the teeth or rebuilding the cracked or worn out tooth caused due to an accident or developmental anomaly. In comparison to fillings, which restore teeth by applying materials to the tooth implant, dental crowns help conceal the abnormality by covering the tooth by a cap that makes it look like a natural tooth.
Improving tooth appearance
Crowning assists in improving tooth appearance, shape and dental alignment. Worn, chipped or broken teeth come in way of oral hygiene and visual appearance. Sometimes, these can lead to low self-confidence and self-esteem. A crown helps in uplifting the cosmetic aesthetics by enhancing the appearance of the teeth and helping get that perfect smile.
Types of tooth crowns
Crowns are available in a choice of materials, such as metals (such as gold, platinum, chromium), porcelain-fused-to-metal, ceramic, and all-resin. Mostly, choice of dental crown material depends on your preference, budget and the tooth location. Each tooth has a specific function and thus, the crown material chosen needs to comply with the functionality of tooth in question.
- Metal crowns are solid and can best endure biting and chewing. They also last longer and rarely succumb to chipping or wear down. These, however, are more expensive options and their metallic colour can be a major drawback. As such, they are best suited for out-of-sight molars.
- Unlike metallic crowns that are largely visible, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look like natural teeth and as such are a good choice for front teeth. The metal in them makes them a good replacement option for long bridge teeth where strength is needed.
- Ceramic crowns provide natural-looking teeth and are a go-to option for people with metallic allergies. They work well for front and back teeth.
How to prepare for a tooth crown
Preparing for a tooth crown essentially involves visiting your dentist twice. On your first visit, the dentist would examine the tooth in question, checking for decay, infection or injury and also take an impression of the tooth to receive the crown. A temporary tooth crown, usually made of acrylic, is placed to protect the prepared tooth while the actual crown is being made.
On the second visit, your dentist would remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent crown. It is important to make sure that crown is a perfect fit. At Primecare Dental, we take pride in our highly experienced team of dentists, technicians and laboratory assistants who make sure that every crown is of the highest quality and proper fit for our clients. To find out more, get in contact with your friendly team today.