You may have heard the term ‘dental crown’ before when it comes to dental restoration and improvement. What are these dental crowns exactly? Why do dentists use them, and what materials are they made from? We will look at all these different questions.
What are dental crowns?
A crown is a type of dental restoration. It fully covers that portion of the dental implant or tooth that is directly at and above the gum line. This means it becomes the tooth’s new outer surface when it is placed. Compare that to a dental filling for example that just repairs or fills a specific portion of that tooth. Dental crowns are permanently fixed into place. The crown will function like a natural tooth and needs to be cared for the same way.
Why are dental crowns used?
There are different reasons that a dentist may recommend a dental crown. They routinely use them for the following reasons:
- To strengthen or repair already damaged teeth
- To improve the overall appearance of the tooth, this can include shape, color, and alignment
While there are alternatives options and treatments available, there is no other dental restoration option that has the same advantages and benefits as a crown.
What kinds of material are they made from?
It is common to see dental crowns made from:
- Porcelain or an alternative dental ceramic
- A metal alloy, this can include non-precious, semi-precious, or precious alloy.
- A combination of metal alloy and dental ceramic, for example, porcelain-fused-to-metal
Each of the three different options has their own advantages and disadvantages. This means that each option has its most-suited applications.
How long does it take?
It usually requires two separate dentist visits to install a dental crown. The dentist will make sure that the tooth is able to support a crown and file the tooth down a bit during the first visit. If the tooth is already broken or severely damaged, the tooth may need to be filled first in order to support the crown properly.
After taking an impression of the tooth, the pictures are sent to a dental lab. This means that the permanent crown is made custom to suit your specific needs. After the first visit, the dentist is going to place a temporary crown that is going to protect the tooth temporarily while the final crown is prepared
During the second visit, the permanent crown is fastened using special adhesive. Even though it is going to feel a little strange at first, it will feel and function like a regular tooth over time.