A dental crown is a fixed prosthetic device that is cemented onto your tooth and can be removed only by a dentist. A crown (aka cap) is placed on a damaged tooth. If your smile needs dental restoration, crowns will provide you with predictable and secure results. They can help give your teeth back their natural shape and size. There are different types of crowns available to suit every budget and need.
What Are Crowns Used for?
Along with cosmetic reason, dental crowns can help save your tooth and prevent further damage to your teeth. Dental crowns can be prescribed in order to:
- Protect a weak tooth from cracking apart
- Strengthen the tooth with a large filling when there is little of natural tooth left
- Restore the tooth having a large cavity
- Restore worn down or broken tooth
- Help hold a bridge in place
- Cap a tooth after root canal treatment
- Cover an implant
- Cover a badly shaped or discolored tooth
Types of Dental Crowns We Have
Crowns come in different materials. Depending on your situation and preferences, we can offer you 3 types of permanent crowns:
- Zirconia Crowns (this is our #1 gold standard)
As the name suggests, this type of crowns is made of zirconium – very durable and indestructible material. Being as strong as gold, zirconia crowns have a translucent color and look natural blending perfectly with other teeth. This is a metal free restoration which requires minimal preparation which helps save more of your original tooth. One of the biggest advantages of applying zirconia crowns is a low risk of body rejection and allergic reaction. The ideal use for zirconia crowns is the situation when extra strength is needed, for example, for back teeth restorations.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns
It is a hybrid type of restoration where a porcelain cap covers a metal shell. Unlike metal crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns give the restored teeth a natural look. Such a crown has a tooth-like shape and color, providing fair aesthetic appeal and good strength. It has a high rate of success in the long run. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crown is an option for front or back teeth, as sometimes the metal part of the crown can show up as a dark line at the crown’s edge. It is also a good choice in case you need a bridge or have night grinding problem.
- E-max Crowns
Made of lithium silicate, E-max crowns are the strongest ceramics available in dentistry today. E-max crowns provide maximum aesthetics due to their translucent nature. They are tough, durable and, at the same time, delicate in appearance. E-max crowns are known for exceptional optical quality: they ideally mimic the color shade, shape and size of your natural teeth. As E-max crowns are metal free, there won’t be a grey edge showing up near the gum line. Proven to last long, E-max crowns is a good investment in your healthy smile.
The Procedure of Getting a Crown: What to Expect?
There are usually two visits needed to have a crown applied. The first visit to the dental office will include:
- Careful examination of your teeth and mouth
- X-ray scan of a bone and tooth that needs a crown
- Tooth reshaping
- Making an impression
- Applying a temporary crown
If there is any decay, infection or pulp injury, a root canal treatment will be needed before getting a crown. A temporary crown helps protect the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being fabricated. It usually takes 2 or 3 weeks for dental laboratory to make a crown. When a permanent crown is ready, you will have a second visit to a dentist. At this appointment, you will undergo the following procedures:
- Removing a temporary crown
- Checking if the fabricated crown fits the color and size
- Make necessary adjustments for a perfect fit
- Placing a permanent crown onto your tooth with the help of special adhesive
Once the crown is in place, and numbing sensation has subsided there is a chance you will need some more adjustment and after the crown should feel, look and act the same as your natural tooth.
Is the Procedure of Getting Crowns Painful?
No, the process of applying a crown is not painful – there is no different then having a filling. If needed, a local anesthesia can be provided to numb the tooth during the preparation stage.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
There are many factors that can influence the durability of crowns, many of which depend on a patient. These are some of them:
- Chosen material (zirconia or gold is more durable than pure porcelain)
- Tooth location (back tooth tend to worn out more quickly while front teeth can be damaged by biting hard objects)
- Bite force (if the patient has a grinding or clenching habit)
- Oral hygiene
Crowns of any type – porcelain-fused-to-metal, zirconia and E-max cannot decay; however, the decay may appear at the edge where a crown joins the tooth. It is also possible to break the crown by biting and chewing inappropriate objects. If the crown is fabricated according to high standards, is fitted properly and is well-maintained, it can last a lifetime.
Caring of Your Crowns
A crowned tooth doesn’t need any special care. However, proper hygiene and regular visits to your dentist are necessary to prevent your tooth from decay and gum diseases. Try to brush and floss the area where a crowned tooth meets the gum thoroughly. If you have porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, avoid biting hard objects as it can provoke cracking the porcelain.
We are sure that most natural looking and durable crowns are the ones made by a professional dentist. It is not only the material, but rather the technique. Visit our office to meet professionals who can help attain a smile you have dreamt about.