A dental crown is a type of restoration, which completely caps a visible portion of tooth or dental implant. The visible part lies at and above gum line. A crown restores the size and shape and improves the strength or appearance of the tooth.
A patient may need a dental crown in the following cases:
- To protect a potential decayed tooth from breaking
- To hold together the parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore the decayed tooth once root canal therapy is made
- To restore the appearance of teeth (color, shape, spaces between the teeth)
- To cover a space above the implant
- To restore the shape after filling, if not enough tooth remains
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To save the tooth that can’t be restored by filling
Different materials can be used to make the crowns:
- Metals (gold-, platinum-, cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium alloys) are the best, if cosmetic appearance is not an important factor. This option is a good choice for out-of-sight teeth. The metal crowns are the strongest and the most durable type of dental cups. They don’t crack or break.
- Stainless steel crowns are used often among children. This is a temporary solution for tooth protection. Dentists protect primary teeth from injury. When they come out to give place to the permanent teeth, these cups also comes out. This choice is popular among parents because multiple dental visits aren’t required and the procedure is cost-effective.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are cosmetically better than metals, but they aren’t enough strong and can easily break.
- All-resin dental crowns cost well, but they are more prone to fractures than the previous type.
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are the best choice for frontal teeth due to natural color.
All crowns are made in laboratories (permanent) or even in a dental office (temporary). No one type of dental crown is suitable for everyone. After a dentist examines the teeth, he or she offers the appropriate materials. A patient will be able to choose the best option for him depending on the dentist's recommendations, costs and insurance covering.
To complete the procedure at least two visits must be done. Firstly, a dentist takes X-Ray to check the root canals. All present abnormalities should be removed. To prepare a space for the crown, a dentist removes or fills the area depending on the tooth shape.
After that a dentist makes an impression of the tooth to take a shape and color shade (in case of tooth-colored materials) of the future crown. This sketch is sent to the laboratory to construct the cup. In two-three weeks a patient comes back to the office to receive a permanent crown. If a patient likes the crown, a dentist cements it in place using a local anesthetic.
As long as the permanent dental crown is constructing, a temporary cup is fixed. During these two-three weeks a patient should avoid sticky, chewy foods and minimally use the side of the mouth with temporary crown.
If any issues occur with the temporary or permanent crown, a patient should contact to the dentist.