A dental crown, sometimes known as a “cap,” is a cap shaped like a tooth, that a dentist or other dental professional places over a natural tooth or an artificial tooth root (also known as an implant). They are typically a long-term treatment to return the tooth to its normal shape or size and are commonly used to cover teeth that are deformed, broken, or discolored. They may also be used to protect a tooth that has been rendered weaker by a filling or another dental surgery. Therefore, crowns are able to enhance a tooth’s aesthetics and functionality.
The following circumstances may necessitate the use of a dental crown:
- Keeping pieces of a shattered tooth together or preventing a weak tooth from breaking (due to decay).
- To repair teeth that are either cracked or badly damaged.
- To maintain a dental bridge in position and protect a tooth with a huge filler when there are not many teeth remaining.
- To conceal badly stained or crooked teeth.
- To conceal a dental implant.
- To alter something providing a purely aesthetic appearance.
Type of dental crowns
Stainless steel crown: Prefabricated crowns made of stainless steel are typically utilized on permanent teeth as a short-term solution. Although a permanent crown is created from a different material, the crown safeguards the tooth or filling. The primary tooth that has been prepared to accommodate a stainless-steel crown is frequently utilized for children. The tooth is completely covered by the crown, which guards it against future decay.
Metals used in crowns comprise of base-metal alloys and alloys with a high concentration of gold or platinum (for example, nickel-chromium and cobalt-chromium alloys). Metal crowns are likely the most durable in aspects of wear down because they can endure chewing and biting forces well. Metal crowns also don’t typically crack or chip. The most significant disadvantage is the metallic appearance and the expensive cost of gold. Metal crowns are a fantastic option for molars that are hidden from view.
Porcelain-bonded-to-metal: Dental crowns made of porcelain-bonded-to-metal can be colored to match your neighboring teeth (unlike metallic crowns). In contrast to metal or resin crowns, this crown material causes the opposing teeth to wear down more quickly. The porcelain part of the crown might potentially fracture or chip. Crowns made of porcelain bonded to metal resemble natural teeth the most, second only to all-ceramic crowns.
- Dental crowns made entirely of resin cost less than other kinds of crowns. They are more susceptible to fracture and deterioration than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
- Dental crowns made entirely of ceramic or porcelain have an excellent natural color match of any crown type, making them potentially more suited for those who are allergic to metal. Front and back teeth can both benefit from all-ceramic crowns.
Crown preparation steps
Two appointments with the dentist are often necessary to prepare a tooth for a crown; the initial session includes cleaning and shaping the tooth, and the latter is to set the permanent crown.
Initial appointment: cleaning and examining the tooth
Your dentist might take a few X-rays at the initial appointment in order to examine the adjacent bone and the roots of the tooth that will get the crown. A root canal procedure may be carried out initially if the tooth has severe decaying or when there is a threat of infection or harm to the pulp.
A portion of the tooth’s outermost layer will typically be removed by the dentist in order to prepare it. The crown’s thickness will match that of the layer that was removed.
The dentist creates a tooth mold and delivers it to a specialist who will create the crown. It can frequently be blended with the color of the surrounding teeth to fit in.
To help you while the permanent crown that is being produced, you can be provided with a temporary crown.
Second visit: Getting the permanent dental crown
Your dentist will take off the temporary crown at the second appointment and examine the permanent crown’s placement and color. The new crown will be completely set in place after a local anesthetic is given to numb the tooth if everything is satisfactory.
Benefits of dental crowns
A dental crown has the ability to fix a variety of aesthetic issues with your teeth while also enhancing your oral health. These repairs can:
- Hold teeth that are broken or cracked together.
- Replace fillings that are big or worn out.
- Restore dental implants
- Restore broken teeth
- Enhance the look of your teeth (moderate alignment problems as well as color concerns)
- Straighten your teeth
- After a root canal, protect your teeth.
Crowns also have the benefit of being sturdy and long-lasting, which is another benefit. Usually, people can remain for 5 to 15 years without needing any more work.
Things to consider
You might experience sore gums all around the treated tooth after a dental crown is placed. After the final crown is in place and the initial discomfort has subsided, there can be some further adverse effects to be mindful of, such as:
- Sensitivity, especially to things that are hot or cold.
- Gum sensitivity at the gumline where the crown and gum converge
- Gum recession where the crown is located
- A broken or damaged crown
- Ongoing discomfort
- Loose crown
- Various crown materials might get discolored over time.
Contact your dentist if you experience any of these side effects. To lower the chance of potential adverse effects, they will ensure the crown is in place and fits properly.
How do you care for your dental crown?
While the tooth margins on which your crown is placed are susceptible to decay, your crown isn’t. As is typically advised, you must floss between your teeth and brush your teeth using fluoride-containing toothpaste.