Dental Crowns Explained: Purpose, Procedure, Complications & Care

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Your most robust set of teeth may experience wear and tear over time. There can be different reasons for this, like general tooth decay, cracked, damaged, chipped teeth, injury, or overuse of teeth with time. These problems can affect your teeth’ shape, strength, size and appearance.

Dental crowns can provide an ideal solution for all these issues. However, before discussing dental crowns’ purpose, procedure, care and other things in detail, let’s know what dental crowns are and what the things you should consider before getting crowns are.

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a cap-like artificial restoration that your dentist place over your tooth to improve its appearance and strength. Crowns are often used to replace a broken or severely worn tooth, to correct a malformed or badly discoloured tooth, or to protect a weak tooth from further damage. They are also frequently used with dental bridges to replace missing teeth.

Most Important Factors to Consider While Getting Crowns

Some essential factors to consider when getting crowns are:

  • The history of your oral health – Your oral health history is vital because it can help your dentist determine whether you are a good candidate for dental crowns. For example, if you have a history of gum disease or tooth decay, your dentist may choose the option that suits you the best.

  • Your lifestyle is also important because it can affect how long your crowns will last. If you lead an active lifestyle, take proper dental hygiene, and eat healthy diets, your crowns will last long.

  • The materials used for the crowns – The most crucial factor to consider while getting crowns is the type of material used in dental crowns. Your dentist can help you choose the materials that fit your case. The crown materials can be gold, porcelain, and metal alloys.

  • The shape of the tooth – Your dentist can create crowns in different shapes to match the tooth’s natural shape. The dentist will need to take an impression of the tooth to get a precise fit for the crown.

  • Colour of the crown – Colour is vital because you will like your crown to match the colour of your original teeth. It will enhance aesthetics and your self-confidence.

Why Need Dental Crowns?

A crown is a dental restoration that covers the entire visible surface of a tooth above the gum line. It restores the tooth’s function and appearance and helps protect it from further damage.

You may need dental crowns for different reasons, including:

  • To protect a tooth that has been weakened by decay or fracture

  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling

  • To restore a tooth’s function and appearance

  • As part of dental implant treatment

  • To improve the appearance of a badly shaped, mishappen or discoloured tooth

  • To strengthen a tooth that has been damaged by decay, infection, or trauma

In addition, if a person has a gag reflex or difficulty swallowing due to enlarged tonsils or adenoids, a dental crown can help.

What are the Different Types of Dental Crowns?

Several types of crowns are available, and you can have different options to choose from based on your requirements and budget. But the following three types of crowns are mainly popular among the people:

  • Prefabricated crowns – These are made in a lab and come ready to use. They can be made from porcelain, gold, or other metals.

  • Cast metal crowns – These are made by taking an impression of your teeth and then casting the metal around it in a lab. They can be made from many different types of metal, including gold, platinum, or titanium.

  • All-ceramic crowns – These are also made in a lab but are made from ceramic materials rather than metal. They can be either porcelain-fused-to-metal or all-ceramic (no metal).

Porcelain crowns are the most used type of crown and can be matched to the colour of your teeth. Gold crowns are more robust than porcelain and may be better for people with a strong bite. Ceramic crowns are made of ceramic material and may be a good choice for people with allergies to metals. You can discuss with your dentist regarding crown types. They are the best person to determine which type will suit you best.

Factors Your Dentist May Consider While Choosing Dental Crowns

When deciding which type of crown to use, a dentist will typically consider the patient’s oral health and budget. For example, a dentist may recommend using a full cast crown instead of a dental filling if a patient has extensive dental decay.

In addition to cost and oral health, other factors influencing the decision include the size and shape of the tooth being capped and how healthy the tooth structure remains. Generally, dentists use porcelain or ceramic crowns for front teeth, while they prefer metal alloy or gold crowns for back teeth.

Moreover, your teeth colour, how much of your tooth is visible, and the health of your gums are vital factors that your dentist may consider while choosing the most appropriate crown for you.

Some crowns are more likely to show discolouration over time than others. If you have a lot of visible tooth structures, your dentist may choose a type of crown that will cover more of the tooth. And if you have gum disease or other oral health problems, your dentist may recommend a different crown to maintain your dental health.

Dental Crown Procedure

A dental crown is a standard procedure in which a dentist fits a custom-made, tooth-shaped cap over a damaged or decayed tooth. The cap strengthens and restores the function of the tooth. Crowns are often made from porcelain, metal, or composite material.

The dental crown procedure usually takes two appointments.

  • First Appointment – On the first visit, your dentist will remove any decay and shape the tooth for the new crown. An impression is then taken of the shaped tooth and sent to a dental lab where the new crown is made. The lab will use the impression to create a custom-made crown for you. In the meantime, the dentist may temporarily cover the shaped tooth with filling material or composite resin to protect it from further damage. Next, the dental crown is fabricated in the lab and sent back to the dentist, and your dentist will call you for a second appointment.

  • Second Appointment – On the second visit, the dentist will put the new crown and cement it with a unique dental adhesive. First, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check the fitting and colour of the permanent crown. If everything is alright, they may use a numbing drug to numb the tooth and cement the new crown onto it.

How to Care Dental Crowns?

It would help if you treated your dental crowns with gentle care. You can follow certain things to care for your dental crowns and keep them in good condition. However, plaque and bacteria can build up on the crown and cause decay. Therefore, brushing and flossing are the primary needs.

Crowns need proper care to ensure their longevity. Here are some tips:

  • Avoid chewing on hard objects such as ice or pens.

  • Avoid biting your nails or opening things with your teeth.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.

  • See your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings.

  • If you have a crown that is damaged or becomes loose, see your dentist right away.

In addition, if you have any questions or concerns about your dental crowns, talk to your dentist.

Get Same-Day Dental Crowns

Dentistry has come a long way from traditional metal crowns. Though they have many valuable applications, now you have better options to suit your specific needs or budget. Whether you are after natural aesthetic appearance, durability, or strength, your dentist can custom manufacture a dental crown to fit into your smile seamlessly.

If you wish for amazing cosmetic transformations in a day, contact Studio Smiles for a same-day dental crown. We use the most advanced technology to create a crown in an hour. As a result, we can ensure that you will walk out of our dental office with a brand-new smile that you will love to showcase.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long do dental crowns last?

The average life of a dental crown is around 10 years. However, this can vary depending on the type of crown, how well you take care of it, and your oral hygiene habits.

Suppose you have a porcelain dental crown, brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist for check-ups twice a year. Avoid chewing on hard objects or eating sticky foods that could cause your crown to break or lose. If you have a gold dental crown, avoid using braces or other orthodontic appliances that could damage the metal. Visit your local dentist every six months for a check-up.

Porcelain dental crowns can last up to 15 years. Porcelain fused to metal crowns tend to last 10-15 years, while all-ceramic crowns may last 5-7 years. However, gold alloy dental crowns can last up to 20 years.

Does my crowned tooth require any special care?

A crown is a cap placed over a damaged or decayed tooth to restore its shape, strength, and function. If properly taken care of, crowns can last many years, but you must visit your dentist for regular check-ups. Your dentist can monitor your crown’s status and make necessary adjustments.

A crowned tooth requires regular maintenance like your original teeth. However, it is essential to practice good oral hygiene. Remember to brush and floss regularly around the crown to prevent decay and gum disease.

You need to be cautious when eating hard foods. For example, avoid biting down on anything too hard or crunching on ice cubes. Also, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle motion when brushing your teeth.

In addition, you should avoid grinding your teeth. Grinding your teeth can cause the crown to come off or wear down prematurely. It would help if you visited your dentist every 6 months for cleaning and check-ups.

How much do dental crowns cost?

The cost of dental crowns will vary depending on the dentist, the location, and the type of crown.

If you want a more affordable option, consider dental crowns made of porcelain fused to metal. These crowns are less expensive than those made of gold or other alloys.

If you have a dental insurance plan, your policy may cover a portion of the cost of your dental crowns. Be sure to check with your insurance company before you start treatment.

Some dental insurance plans cover part of the cost of a dental crown, while others may cover the whole. It would be helpful if you check with your health insurance policy provider and get confirmation whether the policy covers your crown cost.

However, if you don’t have dental insurance, ask your dentist about their payment policies. Many dentists offer to finance or payment plans that make paying for a dental crown more manageable and affordable.

Do I need any preparation before getting dental crowns?

Generally, you don’t need any special preparation before getting dental crowns. However, depending on the type of crowns being placed and the condition of your teeth, your dentist may recommend that you have a cleaning or x-ray done first.

If you have a lot of plaque and tartar build-up on your teeth, your dentist may perform a deep cleaning (called scaling and root planning) before getting dental crowns. It is because if plaque and tartar are not removed, they can cause gums to become inflamed and pulled away from the teeth (gingivitis), making it harder for the crowns to stay in place.

You should brush and floss your teeth as you normally would before your dental appointment. However, please avoid using any mouthwash that contains alcohol, as it can dry out the gum tissue around the area where the dental crown will be placed.

Eating a soft diet for a few days before your appointment is also a good idea. It will help minimise the chance of biting down on your new crowns and damaging them. Depending on your oral condition, you can speak with your dentist if you need any preparation.

How can I determine that a dental crown will be suitable for me?

The best way to determine if a dental crown suits you is to consult your dentist. A dental crown may be recommended if you have a cracked or broken tooth, extensive decay, a large filling, or if you have a dental implant placed.

Your dentist will take x-rays and impressions of your teeth to create a model of your teeth. This model will be used to create the crown. You may also need a laboratory analysis of the tooth to ensure that the crown will be strong enough to withstand chewing forces. Once the dental crown is complete, your dentist will cement over your existing tooth.

When deciding which crown will fit your case, a dentist will t typically check your oral health and budget. For example, a dentist may recommend using a full cast crown instead of a more affordable dental filling if you have extensive dental decay.

Generally, dentists use porcelain or ceramic crowns for front teeth, while they prefer metal alloy or gold crowns for back teeth. But, again, it depends on the individual cases.