Dental crowns are an important aspect of restoration in many dental problems. They help in restoring the overall health of the teeth and enhance the quality of smile. Though it is one of the most common dental procedures, it is also natural for a person to have numerous doubts when a dentist prescribes a crown placement. “Do I need it?” “What is the best type of dental crown for me?” Let us find out.
What is a dental crown and when is it prescribed?
A dental crown or a dental cap is an artificial material that is molded in the shape of a tooth and placed on top of an existing tooth, a dental implant, or above the gumline in order to restore the appearance and to improve functionality. It is custom-made to match the shape of the tooth in its original condition.
A dental crown can be prescribed by a dentist in various circumstances. Dental crowns can be partial or permanent. Dental crown is essentially placed to repair and strengthen damaged tooth and may be needed in various dental conditions like:
- After a root canal treatment
- Cracked tooth
- Presence of a large cavity
- When cusp of tooth is broken
- In excessive wear and tear of tooth (bruxism)
- To improve the appearance of tooth
Root canal treatment and dental crown
When a root canal treatment is performed, the infected portions of the tooth are drained and irrigated with antibiotics. In order to prevent further infection, the hollow space is filled with dental filling material. In order to avoid any chances of infection and to restore the appearance of the tooth, a dental crown needs to be placed.
Cracked tooth and dental crown
In case of cracked tooth, either due to stress, trauma, or due to other medical conditions, the tooth gets cracked. A cracked tooth is highly prone to caries, breakage, and pain. In such a condition, a dental doctor would recommend the placement of a dental crown in order to hold the tooth together. Broken or chipped teeth can not only lead to infection and pain, it can also alter the appearance of a person as they are prone to discoloration. A dentist may prescribe placement of a temporary crown in order to avoid root canal treatment or a permanent crown depending upon the extent of damage to the tooth.
Cavities and dental crown
When a person has a large cavity, it is usually disinfected with antibiotic irrigation and filled with dental filling material. In this case, the remaining part of the original tooth is fragile because of the previous cavity. So, to protect against breakage, a dental crown is placed.
Broken cusp and dental crown
The pointed portion of a tooth that helps in chewing and tearing food is the cusp of the tooth. Wear and tear, stress, and improper habits like opening bottles, tearing open plastic packets, and chewing on objects can lead to trauma to the cusps of a tooth. When the cusp of the tooth is broken, dental crowns are prescribed in order prevent infection, further breakage, and to restore the appearance of teeth.
Bruxism and dental crown
Bruxism is a condition that is characterized by grinding of the teeth and clenching of jaw during nights while asleep. This leads to headaches, tooth sensitivity, chipping of teeth and teeth fractures. In order to prevent further damage, a dentist may prescribe a dental filling and dental crown.
Improving appearance and dental crown
Dental crowns are prescribed in order to improve the appearance of the tooth and smile. Cracked, chipped, and discolored teeth tend to spoil the smile of a person. By fabricating a customized crown, there is restoration of the appearance making it look like the natural tooth.
Types and differences of dental crowns
Depending upon the material used, there are many types and differences in dental crowns. A dentist may prescribe a dental crown material depending upon the location of the tooth, gum tissue position, the color and shade of teeth, the extent of tooth that is seen when a person smiles, and the preference of the patient.
Types of dental crowns
- Full metal crowns
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns
- All-porcelain or all-ceramic crowns
- Zirconia crowns
- Base metal crowns
- Gold alloy crowns
Each material of dental crown has its own advantages and disadvantages. Depending upon the cost factor, a patient can choose a particular dental crown material.
Types and differences in dental crowns
There are various differences in the types of dental crowns and the best dental crown depends on a person’s condition. However, before choosing the type of dental crown, a patient should consider factors like how it appears, and the strength, and durability of the material. So, here’s a comparison of how each type of dental crown pans out in terms of appearance and strength.
Full metal crowns
When it comes to the appearance of full metal or all-metal crowns, they do not appear like natural teeth and make themselves seen distinctly. When a person smiles, they are seen quite prominently. That is why they are generally preferred for teeth like the second and third molars and first lower molars.
Base metal crowns/Gold alloy crowns
While metals like gold, palladium, nickel, and chromium are used for metal crowns, they do provide a metallic look which is quite obvious to look at. Sometimes, they are known to cause metal-related allergies in some people. However, base metal and gold alloy dental crowns are preferred for second and third upper molars, and first, second, and third lower molars.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns
This type of dental crown is a fusion between all metal and all porcelain crowns. In this type, there are better aesthetics in terms of appearance when compared to all metal crowns. However, they are not as natural-looking as ceramic or porcelain crowns. These are generally used for on back teeth due to their aesthetics.
All porcelain/all ceramic dental crowns
Both these types of dental crowns look totally natural and are indistinguishable as prosthetics. These can be customized to the teeth color of the patient and provide the lustrous effect of natural teeth (porcelain crowns). Both porcelain and ceramic are biocompatible and rarely cause allergies. In some cases, they can be placed in a single sitting.
Zirconia crowns are highly preferred due to the fact that they are more cost effective, and can be placed in one sitting in a dental clinic. Though they do not appear as natural-like as porcelain crowns, they do have a good resemblance to natural teeth. Moreover, new advancements in Zirconia material have made them appear natural-like.
Strength and durability
Full metal crowns/gold alloy crowns/base metal crowns
Metal crowns have been used for a long time. They are strong and resistant to corrosion. They have superior longevity, better strength, and do not break. They are also known to offer minimum wear to the teeth they bite against. In the case of gold, since it is malleable, it provides superior fit as a dental crown. This means that there is minimal adjustment that is needed for the tooth to get a gold crown. Noble metals are biocompatible and are not allergic as in the case of base metals.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns
This type of dental crown offers superior strength when compared to all ceramic or all porcelain crowns. This is because, even though the porcelain surface that appears outside wears off, the metal surface underneath protects the tooth. They provide a perfect fit, but are known to offer significant wear to the teeth they bite against. They are generally preferred for front teeth, premolars, and first molars.
All ceramic/all porcelain crowns
As against porcelain fused to metal crowns, all ceramic and all porcelain crowns offer natural-like appearance. Ceramic and porcelain crowns do have longevity issues. They are also known to be inferior to all metal crowns when it comes to hardness, and resistance to fracture. However, with the innovation of new types of ceramics for dentistry, they do offer good strength.
Since Zirconia crowns are made from titanium-based material, they offer good strength and durability. When they are placed for posterior teeth, they do offer good ability to chew and grind food. They are generally used for premolars, and molars.
Finally, when it comes to choosing a dental clinic for dental crowns it is very important to choose only the best dental clinic in India for this procedure as dental equipment like CAD/CAM technology used to mill ceramic crowns, and quality of material used for crown should be high-end with worldwide warranty. Also, the amount of tooth that has to be trimmed is a major consideration.
If you want to know more about dental crowns, please feel free to call us at: 1800 1020 288