Having a set of pearly white teeth certainly boosts one’s confidence. Unfortunately, since we subject our teeth to various chemicals and other harmful substances, they suffer from discoloration. Like most things, teeth deteriorate and become worn out over time. Trauma to the tooth can also progress the wear and tear. Luckily, restorative dentistry can enhance your smile by repairing any cracked and/or damaged teeth, while whitening the stained ones. One of the most common treatments to improve the appearance of your teeth is a dental crown.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a form of dental restoration that has been around for quite some time. It is a tooth-shaped cover that is propped on your tooth to enhance its appearance; to bring back its shape, size and strength; and ultimately, to blanket the tooth for protection. Moreover, it is fashioned to resemble your tooth’s natural crown.
There are various reasons why your dentist may suggest a dental crown. More often than not, the crown will safeguard the weak tooth from decaying or breaking. If your tooth has been seriously eroded, a crown can restore it. In addition, a scan mask discolored teeth or a dental implant; support a dental bridge; and reinforce the tooth with filling, especially if there’s not much of the tooth left.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are several kinds of dental crowns that might fit your needs. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Here, at Aquario Dental, we will thoroughly evaluate your condition to identify the best solution for your tooth’s problem.
- Metal Crowns – The classic metal crown uses gold, but there are other alloys that can be employed in this procedure, like nickel and palladium. Metal crowns don’t easily wear out and hardly ever get chipped because they can hold out against the pressure and force exerted when chewing or biting. Additionally, metal crowns are advised in areas where great strength is needed and the aesthetic appearance is of little concern.
- All Ceramic Crowns – These crowns are made of a dental ceramic, like porcelain. An all ceramic crown is often used on the front teeth to mimic the natural look of teeth. It is also recommended for patients who are allergic to metals. This kind of dental crown is commonly used for aesthetic purposes, while an all ceramic crown is not as strong or durable as other crowns.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns – As the name implies, a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown is a hybrid between an all metal and all ceramic crown. Seeing as half of it is porcelain, the crown mirrors the adjacent teeth. On one hand, the metal portion of the crown supports the ability of the tooth to withstand the forces when eating. However, the downside of this crown is that the ceramic part tends to break easily, while the metal part is sometimes visible as a dark line.
- Zirconia – Zirconia is a fresh and novel dental ceramic that is endowed with superior strength. It is digitally constructed using CAD/CAM technology in just one visit to the dentist.
Other types of crowns include all resin, which is probably the cheapest, and a temporary crown, which is made from acrylic or stainless steel.
Procedures in a Dental Crown
Generally, a dental crown procedure is performed in two visits. The first visit includes the preparation for the procedure, while the second part deals with the crown placement.
Part 1: Preparation
To begin, one of our technicians will perform an X-ray on your teeth. This will allow the dentist to inspect the roots of the tooth issue. If it has seriously decayed or there is a likelihood of being infected, a root canal treatment will be carried out immediately.
Like any general dentistry treatment, the tooth to be crowned as well as the gum tissue will be desensitized, or numbed. The tooth will then be reframed to prepare the way for the crown. After carving portions of the tooth, a paste or putty is daubed to make an impression of the tooth to be crowned. This impression is sent to the lab, where the crown will be fashioned. In the meantime, a temporary crown will be attached to the tooth.
Part 2: Crown Placement
On the next visit, the temporary crown will be detached. The color and the fitting of the permanent crown will then be checked by your dentist. If everything is confirmed to be on point, the tooth will be desensitized again, and the permanent crown will be placed.
After the procedure, you may experience discomfort and extreme sensitivity. Your dentist will advise you to use a toothpaste tailored for sensitive teeth. For your dental crown to last, it is always advised to promote good oral hygiene. Also, avoid biting your fingernails, opening packaging with your teeth, and chewing ice cubes.