What is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are a tooth-shaped fixed prosthetic restoration. They cover the tooth to restore its shape, size, color, strength and improve its appearance. The dentist cements these restorations into existing teeth or dental implants and can only be placed or removed by him.
Each restorative material available for dental crowns has its especial indication depending on each specific case. There are many crowns for teeth available in the market.
We have different types of restorative material to cover crown tooth, which are proven best in class.
Types of dental crown available with us are:
- Porcelain fused to metal
Metal crowns are made of different materials such as platinum, titanium, or nickel, all of these offer excellent resistance to wear.
Although they are long-lasting, metal crowns are not an aesthetic treatment. The dental professional will indicate them on the posterior teeth that perform chewing functions. Before choosing this type of treatment, possible allergies of the patient should be diagnosed and recorded.
Although metal crowns are durable and strong for the crowned dental, it is not usually the first treatment option due to aesthetics.
Porcelain crowns are the most common. Their appearance closely resembles that of a natural tooth. Porcelain crowns have excellent biocompatibility and color stability. Thanks to technological advances, the durability of porcelain crowns has increased. The dentist may manufacture the porcelain crowns in the same dental clinic with the CAD-CAM system. Porcelain crowns are an excellent treatment option because of its aesthetic properties and fracture resistance for tooth crowning.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns:
Thanks to its resistance and more affordable price compared to other types of crowns, the porcelain fused to metal crown is an excellent option for patients. Metal and porcelain are the main components of this type of restoration. The interior part of the crown is made of metal, while the outer part is lined with porcelain; this will give the tooth a more natural appearance.
Metals used for the interior part of the crown are Chrome-Nickel, Chrome-Cobalt, Gold, Platinum, or Titanium.
Zirconia is a white metal with significant advantages over other materials. It is highly aesthetic since it is translucent as porcelain, its appearance resembles that of a natural tooth. This material offers the patient, excellent biocompatibility, and minimizes the chances of allergic reactions or rejection by the body.
Gold crowns can withstand massive chewing forces and the dentist may recommend them if you exhibit heavy wear patterns on your posterior teeth.
These crowns do not fracture, making them a long-lasting restorative treatment. If a tooth with a gold crown fractures, it is usually because the underlying dental structure has deteriorated or presents decay. Due to the material, gold crowns cost more than other crown options, as they are crowns on tooth.
When Is A Dental Crown Required?
- It protects tooth decay, accidental fracture, or broken tooth
- For fillings or fixed prostheses replacement.
- It is required for dental implants restorations.
- After root canal treatments.
- Helpful in cosmetic modification
- Helpful in covering discoloured teeth
- The large filling helps to supports other teeth and where there is not much teeth left in the row.
Advantages Dental Crown:
Dental crowns offer a suitable solution to a range of dental crown problems. They can:
- Provide support to a tooth that has been seriously damaged by decay.
- Protect a tooth with visible wear of the dental structure from further damage.
- Give a functional life-like restoration.
- Protect a tooth after a root canal treatment.
- Improve the natural look of a tooth by changing its shape, position, or color.
- Restore a dental implant
- Dental crowns are an excellent long-term restorative treatment because they are long-lasting and generally last for at least 5-15 years, which increases patient satisfaction over time.
Scientific studies have determined that treatment of dental crown problems has a high success rate compared to other dental restoration methods or no treatment at all.
Disadvantages Dental Crown
A dental crown is a very effective restorative treatment. It may be used to restore a tooth, and it has a few distinct advantages over other restorative options. However, there are some disadvantages to this procedure:
- Some patients may experience discomfort and dental sensitivity to extreme cold or hot beverages shortly after the procedure.
- The patient may present pain or sensitivity when biting down, which is most often caused when the crown is too high. The dentist can quickly correct this by adjusting the crown’s height.
- Dental crowns can fracture or chip. Sometimes, it is possible to repair these without the need to remove the crown. If the fracture is too large, the crown may require its complete replacement.
- In some patients, the dental crown may become loose and allow bacteria to enter under the crown, resulting in decay.
- Occasionally, the crown may fall away entirely, usually due to improper crown fitting or the use of insufficient dental cement, requiring repair or full replacement of the crown.
- Rarely, an allergic reaction can occur to metal.
- Dental crowns are usually more expensive than other direct dental restorations. The dental crown cost will always depend on the types of material used.
For these reasons, it is always advisable to go to a dental specialist in Prosthodontics or Restorative Dentistry, so that he/she can assess a correct diagnosis and treatment plan. The treatment will be successful if the dental professional follows all the right protocols.
Here is how the Dental Crown Procedure is done:
Depending on the case, dental crown procedure requires two to three appointments generally. Which can stretch for two weeks, starting from the first appointment to finishing your dental crown.
Phase 1: Diagnosis and treatment plan
In the tooth crown process, the dental professional will determine if the patient is an ideal candidate for this procedure by checking the general and dental background.
Before the procedure, your dentist will explain every detail about dental crowns and choose the best dental crown material for your specific case. The dentist will take the necessary X-rays to make sure that the tooth can accept the restoration and no underlying complications are present.
Phase 2: Tooth preparation
If the tooth is in a good condition, and the patient accepts the pros and cons of having a dental crown, the dentist will proceed to prepare the tooth.
- The dental professional will apply local anesthesia in the tooth area and surrounding tissues. Once the surrounding area is numb, the dental preparation starts.
- The dentist will take dental impressions and he/she will also place a temporary crown over the prepared tooth.
- The dentist will send the impression to the dental laboratory, and the dental technician will fabricate the crown.
Phase 3: Cementation
The last appointment is usually between 2-3 weeks later, and if there are no changes, the dentist will cement the dental crown with a unique composite based cement.
Postoperative Instruction for Dental Crown Treatment
- Avoid chewing any food until the numbness has entirely disappeared.
- Your dentist may prescribe analgesics if pain or discomfort is persistent
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene before and after the procedure
- Floss at least once a day
- Visit your dentist regularly
Post-Treatment Care for Dental Crown Treatment
Once the treatment is over, your dentist will hand over a list consisting recommendations for post crown dental care. It is highly recommended to follow the list for better result. Some of the generic dental care one should follow post treatment are:
- Good oral hygiene habits
- Brush your teeth three times a day
- Floss at least once a day.
- Use a mouthwash at least once a day.
- Tongue scrapers: As an aid to remove food remains in the back of the tongue.
- Visit your dentist for regular check-ups and professional cleanings. Regular check-ups are the best way to make sure you are maintaining good oral hygiene and to check the status of your dental restoration.
Do’s and Don’ts of Dental Crown Treatment
- Do maintain good oral hygiene
- Do visit your dentist for regular follow-up check-ups.
- Don’t chew or bite any hard objects
- Don’t eat hard or sticky foods for three days after the procedure.
Myths About Dental Crown Treatment
1. Dental crowns are for damaged or broken teeth
Dental crowns have many functions, among them is to protect damaged, broken, or endodontically treated teeth in which a lot of dental structure is lost.
2. It is unnecessary to take care of temporary crowns since they are provisional prosthesis.
Most patients who need a dental crown treatment will get a temporary restoration to protect the prepared tooth between the first and final appointment. The temporary restoration will require special care to prevent cracks, fractures, or dislodgement because its material is much more fragile than the one of a permanent crown.
In general, patients can continue to have a normal life; however, the following diet and oral care recommendations are necessary: Avoid sticky or chewy foods; these can dislodge the temporary restoration.
- Avoid hard foods, which can break the temporary restoration
- Try to chew most foods on the opposite side of the temporary restoration.
- Avoid flossing next to the temporary crown.
3. Dental crowns do not look natural
Myth. The natural look of a dental crown will depend on the material of choice for the treatment. Some materials are highly aesthetic and others are not. This characteristic will depend on many factors, such as the location of the prepared tooth, dental crown cost, patient’s needs, and the condition of the oral cavity.
4. Dental crowns cannot be bleached.
Dental crowns cannot be bleached, so the dental professional will not recommend this treatment in cases in which a patient has an anterior dental crown.
5. Dental crowns can change color in time.
Myth. Dental crowns DO NOT change color over time.
6. Porcelain crowns are the best option.
Myth. All of the restorative materials available today are excellent. Each material has its specific indication so the best option will always depend on the patient’s case.
7. Dental crowns do not require maintenance after cementation.
It would be best if you visited the dental professional for follow-up appointments after cementation. To maintain excellent oral health, you must floss and brush every day and have a professional dental cleaning at least every six months.
If you do not assist to follow-up check-ups, the risk of tooth decay will be higher and the functional lifespan of your crown will be lower.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When is a dental crown recommended?
A patient will need a dental crown to support a tooth that has been damaged or presents wear, and also, the dentist will recommend dental crowns for aesthetic and functional purposes. The dentist may carry out this treatment even though the tooth presents loss of structure, as long as the amount of support structure necessary to provide retention and adequate function is maintained.
2. Can I have orthodontic treatment if I have a dental crown?
The presence of one or more dental crowns in your teeth does not impede starting orthodontic treatment if you have good oral health. But, it is essential to know that when a patient has a crown or a dental implant, the orthodontic cementation procedure will be different.
A well-cemented crown on a natural tooth does not pose any complication in orthodontic treatment. The dental piece with the prosthesis will perform the prescribed movements behaving in the same way as the rest of the teeth. The products used to adhere the brackets to the surface of the crown are different than the ones used on enamel.
3. What are the characteristics of porcelain fused to metal crown?
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns are very resistant, the dental professional will recommend them for molars and premolars, this is where more intense forces are present due to function.
- This crown gives a natural appearance to the tooth.
- Porcelain fused to metal is much more cost-effective than Zirconia or pure porcelain restorations.
- Metal can cause allergic reactions.
- The light that passes through the porcelain is reflected off the metal creating a shadow effect; this is the reason why the dentist won’t recommend porcelain fused to metal crowns for anterior teeth.
- Over time gums can retract, revealing the metal frame of the crown.
4. How much does a porcelain crown costs?
Dependig on the choice of the metal and the number of teeth that need to be treated, Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns prices varries.
5. How long does a crown last?
Porcelain fused to metal crowns tend to last from 15 to 20 years.
6. What would happen if my dental crown falls off?
If possible, you must recover the crown whenever you feel that it has fallen, thus avoiding the risk of accidentally swallowing it. However, if this happens, it is likely to pass through the digestive tract without any problem.
Call your dental office to make an appointment and provide as much detail as possible to assess the need for immediate attention.