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Benefits of Dental Crowns

A dental crown is a cap that is used to cover a tooth. It resembles the appearance and function of healthy teeth in order to restore shape and size, appearance, strength, and functionality. The crown, once cemented into place, fully cover the entire visible area of the tooth that shows above the gum line. There are many reasons why dental crowns may be needed to resolve dental problems. Some of these reasons will be discussed further, but only your dentist will be able to properly advise you based on your situation.

When Are Dental Crowns Needed?

dental crownsA dental crown may be needed in many circumstances:

  • Protecting a weakened tooth from further damage
  • Restoring a damaged tooth
  • Covering and supporting a tooth that has been severely worn down structurally
  • Holding a dental bridge in place
  • Covering misshapen or noticeably discolored teeth
  • Covering a dental implant
  • Making a cosmetic modification

Dental crowns are even used in children for such situations as:

  • Saving a tooth
  • Protecting teeth when a child has high risk of decay, due to personal hygiene or other issues
  • Decreasing the frequency of general anesthesia usage for children that are unable to fully participate in proper dental care

Types of Crowns Available

There are many different types of crowns to choose from based on personal needs, finances, and cosmetic preference.

  • Stainless Steel – These crowns are prefabricated and used on permanent teeth mostly as a temporary solution to the problem. This type of crown protects the tooth while a permanent crown is made from another material. Sometimes during this process, the tooth is particularly fragile and some means is needed to protect the tooth before the permanent option is available. Stainless steel crowns are commonly used in children as well, mostly because it is a more cost effective solution than multiple dentist visits and custom crowns.
  • Metals – Many metals are used in crowns such as gold alloy, other alloys such as palladium, or base-metal alloys like nickel or chromium. Metal crowns generally require less tooth structure to be removed in their implementation and tooth wear to opposing teeth is minimal. Metal crowns generally last the longest, with their unnatural metallic color being the main drawback. Due to this drawback, they are usually only used for out of sight molars.
  • Porcelain Fused to Metal – These types of crowns are often preferred as they can be color matched to the adjacent teeth. Compared with metal or resin crowns, however, more wearing occurs to opposing teeth. The porcelain portion of the crown may also chip or break off. While these look like normal teeth, the hidden metal portion in the gum line sometimes may be visible as a dark line and if the gums recede, may become completely visible.
  • All Resin – While less expensive than other crown choices, these types of crowns tend to wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than porcelain fused to metal variations.
  • All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain – These types of dental crowns provide the best in natural, tooth resembling color and are also a great choice for individuals with allergies to metal. However, they are not as strong as porcelain fused to metal variations and they wear down teeth a little faster than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a great option for front teeth.
  • Temporary vs Permanent – Temporary crowns are typically made in a dentist’s office. Permanent crowns need to be made in a dental laboratory as they are custom made. As mentioned previously, temporary crowns are made with different material and are a temporary fix until a permanent solution can be custom developed.
  • Zirconia or Milled Crown – These types of crowns are digitally constructed. This construction may take place either in an office that has the software or hardware to produce them or in a dental lab. They are made with impressive technology that requires no impression.

What is the Process of Placing a Dental Crown?

There is a lot of preparation that is done prior to the actual implementation of a dental crown. Initially, your dentist will take X-rays to examine the roots of the tooth that will be utilizing the crown as well as the condition of the surrounding bone. Depending on the condition of the tooth’s pulp or if there is a risk of infection, a root canal may be performed prior to the placement of the crown.

Your dentist will then use general anesthesia to numb the tooth and surrounding gum tissue. The tooth is then filed down to make room for the crown.  How much is filed down will depend on the material used in the crown as well as how much room is needed. Sometimes, if a tooth is already worn down severely from decay or damage, filling material may be used instead to bring the crown up and sit it correctly in line with the other teeth.

Following reshaping the tooth, an impression will be made by your dentist, unless in the case of a zirconia or milled crown. The impression is sent to the lab to develop a custom tooth to fit the individual’s bite and match the surrounding teeth. The crown is usually sent to the dentist’s office within two to three weeks. Following receiving the crown, the final operation is done where the crown is placed in the mouth of the patient. A local anesthetic is used and the crown is cemented into place.

Choosing a Dentist for Dental Crown Procedure

City Dental Centers is proud to offer professional dentists for dental crown implementation. We are happy to advise you as to the best choice of crown for your particular situation.

For questions, or to schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 1-888-764-5326.

Dental Crown Procedures Santa Ana