What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that cover teeth that have been damaged or fill the space of a missing tooth in order to restore your smile. Crowns are natural-looking replacements that not only restore the appearance of your teeth but strengthen your bite. Patients typically receive a crown when a filling is not effective in restoring the tooth.
What Can a Crown Fix?
Patients receive crowns for various reasons. Cosmetically, they can be used to cover discolored or misshapen teeth. In restorative dentistry, crowns are used to hold together cracked teeth, cover or support a tooth with a large filling, or restore a broken tooth. In addition, crowns can be used in conjunction with bridges and implants.
Types Dental Crowns
Dental crowns can be made of several different materials, each with their own benefits and disadvantages. These materials include:
- Metal: Metal crowns are comprised entirely of metal alloy including gold, platinum, palladium, or other elements. Metal can easily withstand the force of biting and chewing while also preserving a majority of the tooth’s original structure. Crowns made of metal rarely chip or break but are easily identifiable in the mouth due to their metallic color.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal: Also known as PFM, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns appear like normal teeth and can be color-matched to each patient’s mouth. However, the metal under the porcelain can create a dark line and they tend to wear down more than metal crowns.
- Resin: These crowns are the least expensive material a dental crown can be made of. However, resin is more likely to chip and fracture than other materials so they wear down at a higher rate.
- Ceramic or porcelain: While not as strong as PFM or metal, ceramic and porcelain provide the most natural colored crown available. Additionally, they can wear and chip at a greater rate than metal. This material is commonly used on the front teeth because of its cosmetic appeal.
Before & After Single Crown Placement
The Crown Placement Process
Dr. Fresch Gray places dental crowns in two appointments. During the first appointment, the Clarendon Dental Arts staff will prepare the tooth by filing and reshaping. This is done so the crown will fit securely in place. Once the tooth is prepared, Dr. Fresch Gray and her staff will then take impressions. We send these impressions to a laboratory that fabricates your custom crown. This takes about two to three weeks, during which patients can have a temporary crown in place.
Once the crown is ready, patients will return for their second appointment. The temporary crown is removed and the new custom crown is placed with cement.
Patient Testimonial for Dental Crowns
“3 temporary crowns put on at one sitting and no trouble at all. Believe me, I am the queen of cowards when it comes to dentists having had some very bad youthful experiences. Dr. Fresch, Jules, and all of the staff are wonderful at making this a calm, painfree experience.”
Dental Crown Complications
There is a chance that patients can experience complications after their crown is placed. If you experience any of the following issues contact our office for assistance.
- Pain or sensitivity when biting
- Chip in a porcelain crown
- Loose dental crown
Caring for Your Dental Crown
Dental crowns can be treated just like a normal tooth. Patients that brush and floss daily as well as receive regular cleanings can maintain their crowns for up to 15 years.