A dental crown is commonly known as a dental cap. Dental crowns are fixed prosthetic restorations that completely cover up the teeth. They may be used on only a single tooth or many teeth. A dental crown not only gives a good look but also restores the function of the damaged, broken, or decayed tooth.
What are dental crowns?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover that dentists put over a tooth. Crowns are permanently fixed dental restorations. When any part of the tooth’s surface is broken, chipped out, damaged, or fractured, a crown is a right option to protect the tooth from further damage. Though the crown is artificial, it looks like a natural tooth and restores its natural functions.
Commonly, the dental crown is used after root canal treatment. It is also used in dental implant procedures. Whatever the purpose, a crown can make your damaged tooth strong and last longer. It can make your smile more beautiful.
What are dental crowns made of?
The most commonly used materials in dental crowns are all-porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, all resins, stainless steel, and all metal. A newly introduced material called zirconium is also used in making dental crowns.
All-porcelain crowns are also known as all-ceramic crowns.
They are the most popular crowns for natural tooth-colored teeth. These crowns will be the best choice for those conscious of their aesthetic look, especially in front teeth. Besides, all-porcelain crowns will be the best for anyone allergic to metals because they are metal-free alloys.
Those that want a solution to their dental problem within budget may use these crowns. Porcelain fused to metal is used in dentistry for making dental crowns and bridges. PFM crowns are stronger and more durable. Because of their strength, they are also used in the back teeth.
Metal crowns are fabricated from different metals, including gold, platinum, or base metal alloys (e.g., cobalt-chromium alloys). They are very strong and can withstand masticatory forces. They are also durable.
Their metallic colors and the high price of gold are some drawbacks of metal crowns.
Stainless steel crowns
They are the older types of crowns. However, they are still used for young children and permanent molars teeth. Usually, dentists don’t recommend them now because crowns made of new materials are better.
Zirconia crowns are the new crowns that are becoming more popular with patients. They are stronger and more durable. They blend perfectly with natural teeth.
ALSO READ: Zirconia vs. Porcelain: Which crowns are best for you?
Who may need a dental crown?
You need a dental crown to save your weak tooth from further damage (e.g., fractures, chip out, broken, worn down, decayed, etc.).
In some cases, when the dental fillings are not effective, dental crowns can do the job. Besides, dental crowns are used after root canal cases and implant procedures.
Dental crowns can be an option if you want to change the color of your discolored teeth.
How is your tooth prepared for a dental crown?
You may need two visits to the dentist.
During your first visit, your dentist will examine your teeth and prepare them for the crowns. The dentist will x-ray the tooth to check the condition of the root and surrounding bone. If any infections or injury to the tooth’s pulp is detected, a root canal treatment must be performed first.
On your second visit, the dentist will place the crown.
Before making a dental crown, the dentist will anesthetize the target tooth. Then, they will reshape it for the crown. The amount of reshaping will depend on the type of crown that will be used. In some cases, a large part of the tooth may be removed. Any hole in the tooth must be filled before placing a crown.
After reshaping your teeth, the dentist will take impressions of the teeth on impression materials. These impressions will be sent to a lab where the crown will be fabricated.
During this visit, the dentist will also ask you to choose the shade of your teeth. That information will go to the lab with the impression.
The dentist will give a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth, which will be placed with temporary cement.
During your second visit, the dentist will remove your temporary crown and check the fitting and the color of the permanent crown. The bite quality must be checked before placing the crown permanently. Once satisfied, the dentist will cement the permanent crown in place.
ALSO READ: When Do You Need a Crown After a Root Canal?
The pros and cons of dental crowns
A dental crown holds your cracked and damaged teeth. It can restore a fractured tooth. It helps dental implants and can create or recreate your new look.
However, dental crowns have some disadvantages too.
Though they are strong and durable, they may crack over time. Small cracks can be repaired, but the restoration will require replacement if they are big and beyond repair.
Besides, a poorly fitted crown can create many problems. There may have a leakage under the crown to allow bacterial infection.
Costs of dental crowns
The cost of a crown depends on its kind, the materials used to make it, the location of the dentistry, the tooth’s condition, the number of teeth, and the extent of the damage. The average dental crown cost without insurance coverage may range between $1000 to $ 1500 per tooth.
Speak to your insurance representative to see if they can help you by bearing some costs.
Some dentists offer annual discounts. There may be a discount for you for being a loyal customer.
How long do crowns last?
On average, the lifespan of a dental crown can be between 10 and 30 years. With proper care and a healthy lifestyle, crowns can last longer than 30 years. The porcelain crowns on your front teeth can last between 25 and 30 years. Some dentists advise metallic crowns for the back teeth. Porcelain-fused-to-metals can be used there. They last 20 years or more.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns were considered the gold standard for the repair of damaged teeth for decades. They have good mechanical properties, satisfactory esthetic results, and an acceptable level of biological quality. However, the cost of precious metals has risen markedly recently, making them relatively unattractive for many.
Can you bite with front crowns?
You can bite with your front crowns. The front crowns are as strong as other teeth. You can help them last longer. Avoid eating sticky foods. Try to solve your teeth-grinding habits.
What is the cheapest crown for a tooth?
A metal crown is the cheapest of all dental crowns. You can have them at a reasonable price. But they are usually used for back teeth. That is because they are not tooth-colored. They are strong and durable. If your teeth are sensitive to metals or are allergic to metals, they are not for you.
Another affordable option is the porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. You can have them on your front teeth as well.
Some countries offer low-cost crowns for your teeth. They include Mexico, Thailand, Turkey, Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain, Poland, Vietnam, Bulgaria, and Hungary. Still, if you are looking for gold crowns, they will be costly everywhere because gold is a precious metal wherever you go.
Do crowns on front teeth look natural?
Yes, they do. Dental crowns on the front teeth create a natural look and restore the natural tooth’s functions.
It is important to give the front crown your natural tooth’s color. Many dental crowns are used on front teeth, such as all-porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, and all resins. A porcelain dental crown has the color of a natural tooth. Porcelain-fused metal may also be an affordable option. Zirconium crowns are becoming popular day by day. They match perfectly with your teeth’s natural color but are expensive.
Are dental crowns worth the money?
Dental crowns are very much worth your money. Dental crowns can save you if your teeth are severely damaged, decayed, or discolored. They are strong and durable. Besides, there are so many options for you, you will definitely find the one that you need.