If you have damaged or poorly formed teeth, dental crowns can be a lifesaver. These dental prosthetics cover the damage and give your teeth a clean, natural appearance based on the type of crown you choose. Dental crowns are used for cosmetic purposes or as a part of a more comprehensive treatment. Let’s look at everything you need to know about this popular procedure:
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are prosthetics made from metal, ceramic, and/or porcelain. They are used in a wide range of treatments for problems like tooth decay, injuries, damaged tooth, and missing teeth. Crowns come in different forms and are made of different materials.
These crowns for teeth serve many purposes. They improve the appearance of your teeth, replace decayed or damaged dental matter, and improve the teeth’s overall structural integrity. The caps are attached to the base with dental cement and remain in place for a long time. You can carry out your day-to-day activities with the cap in place.
When Do I Need a Dental Crowns Procedure?
A dentist will examine your teeth and determine whether you need a dental crown. In some cases, you may just need a filling and dental crown will be unnecessary. Here’s a look instances when you may need tooth crowns:
- Extensive decay that has damaged the structural integrity of your tooth.
- Weak tooth due to cracks or physical damage and injury.
- Tooth that has been worn down considerably.
- Severely mishappen or discoloured teeth that need some cosmetic treatment.
- Dental material removed due to root canal.
- Prosthetic crown for dental implants.
- Prosthetic crown for dental bridges.
Your dentist will develop a custom dental crown if you have any of the issues mentioned above. You can choose what kind of crown you prefer based on your budget and lifestyle requirements.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are different types of crowns available and every option has some advantages. We recommend discussing the procedure with your dentist in detail to ensure that your dental crown is suitable for your requirements. Here’s a brief look at the different kinds of products available:
Metal crowns have been around for a while and there are several options available in this category. You can choose gold, silver, chromium, palladium, nickel, and other such metals. The pros and cons of metal crowns are:
- They are the most durable products available in the market.
- They can handle more bite and chewing force, which means they don’t wear down easily.
- They are thinner and only require a small portion of your natural tooth to be removed.
- They are very noticeable because of their metallic colour and will immediately catch people’s eyes.
Gold tooth crown or other metal crowns are most suitable for your back molars and teeth that aren’t easily visible. Some people like the aesthetics of gold or silver crowns even on their front teeth and don’t mind the visual impact.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain teeth covers are made from ceramic or porcelain. They are very popular among patients because of their visual appeal. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of this option:
- They are the most natural-looking dental crowns and will blend in with your teeth easily.
- These crowns have a translucency to them that makes them an ideal choice for people who want a natural smile.
- The caps are ideal for people who are allergic to metal.
- Ceramic or porcelain crowns are less durable than the other options available in the market.
- They are more likely to chip and wear down over time.
While you may need to replace a ceramic crown more often, it is a good choice if you’re looking for something natural.
3. Porcelain Fused to Metal
This crown is made from two distinct materials. The inner layer is made from metal and the other layer is made from porcelain. The advantages and disadvantages of these dental crowns are:
- These crowns offer the resilience of metal and visual appeal of ceramic.
- They’re suitable for both the front and back teeth.
- You may see some dark spots or metallic-looking marks underneath the ceramic layer.
- There’s a high chance of the ceramic layer cracking or chipping after some time.
- The teeth close to the crowns cause the ceramic layer to erode over time as well.
These types of teeth caps are suitable for people who want the durability of metal but the aesthetics of ceramic crowns. They are recommended for individuals that don’t have any sort of metal allergy.
Resin crowns are made from a safe resin compound. It appears more natural than metal teeth but doesn’t have the same translucency that ceramic has. Here’s a look at some of its pros and cons:
- Resin crowns are the most affordable option available in the market today.
- They look very close to natural teeth.
- They are more fragile than the other options available and can wear down quicker.
- You may need to replace them more often.
Resin is a good choice if you’re on a tight budget. You can replace it with a more resilient option later, when you have a better budget.
5. Pressed Ceramic
Pressed ceramic teeth caps have a metal inner lining and a ceramic outer layer. However, these crowns are made differently compared to traditional porcelain-fused metal caps. Here’s a look at the pros and cons:
- These crowns are usually more durable than all-ceramic or all-porcelain caps.
- They also look as natural as all-ceramic or all-porcelain caps and offer the best color-match.
- You may see a few dark spots eventually if the ceramic layer erodes after a few years.
Discuss all of these options with your dentist to determine which one is the best choice for you. An expert will offer unbiased advice based on your current dental health and priorities.
Onlays and 3/4th Crown Dental
Traditional crowns cover the entire tooth and only a small fraction of the natural dental material remains to act as an anchor. However, sometimes this isn’t necessary. Most dentists are conservative and will seek to save as much of your natural dental matter as possible. They will rely on onlays or 3/4th dental crowns that cover only a portion of your teeth. These are ideal for minor damage and fewer cosmetic issues.
If there is a lot of good dental matter available, your dentist will recommend the 3/4th crown dental option instead of a traditional cap.
How Long do Crowns Last?
The average lifespan of dental crowns can be anywhere between 5 to 15 years based on your lifestyle and maintenance habits. The lifespan also depends on the type of crowns you have. They will last longer if you maintain proper dental hygiene and visit your dentist regularly. They will also last longer if you have good lifestyle habits and don’t have issues like chewing or teeth grinding.
A dental crown doesn’t require a lot of maintenance aside from normal brushing and cleaning. It is a good idea to follow your dentist’s advice to the letter on the matter to ensure you don’t damage your crowns. Good-quality crowns will last for more than a decade under the right maintenance.
Tooth Crown Cost
Tooth crowns costs can vary depending on your location, type of crowns, and other required treatments. In most cases, these crowns can cost anywhere between $800 and $1700 for every crown. Materials like gold or porcelain are more expensive than cheaper metals or resins. You can get an estimate from your dentist or research local dental crown prices online. The information is easily available.
Some dentists do offer finance options to help reduce the cost burden. You may also get discounts if you need multiple tooth caps.
Dental Crown Procedure
The dental crown treatment process is fairly straightforward. We recommend discussing it with your dentist in detail because every expert has their unique approach. However, the most basic steps in the process include:
- A consultation where the dentist carefully examines your teeth to determine if you need caps. This process involves x-rays, visual inspection, and a look at your dental health history.
- The dentist may recommend a root canal if you have significant decay before they start with the dental crown process.
- Once the tooth is deemed suitable for a crown, the dentist will file it down and remove any excess material to make room for the crown. The filed-down tooth will become an anchor for your dental crown.
- The dentist will use a putty to take an impression of your teeth and mouth shape. This is essential to ensure your crowns fit properly.
- They will install a temporary crown to protect your filed tooth while the impression is sent to a dental lab. This process can take two-three weeks.
- On the next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crowns and make sure the custom crowns are of the right color and size.
- The dentist will then apply dental cement and adhere the new permanent crowns on the root.
This is all you need to know about crowns for teeth. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist for more information.
1. Is the dental crown procedure painful?
In most cases, the dental crown procedure isn’t painful, especially if there is no root canal involved.
2. Do I need an implant?
You will need an implant if your tooth is missing or severely decayed. As long as there is enough dental material to work as an anchor, you may not need an implant.
3. Do dental crowns require special maintenance?
No, you just need to brush your teeth and use floss as you normally do. Be sure to visit your dentist at least once in six months.