Dental crowns are caps made in the shape of a tooth and are then fitted on top of an already existing tooth. Their main purpose is to cover a damaged tooth and to restore its original shape and size. Not only do dental crowns have the same appearance as a tooth, but as they are meant to function like one, they have the strength of a healthy and fully-grown tooth as well.
Dental crowns are cemented on to the base of the original tooth. The procedure entails the shaving and shaping of the damaged tooth before a crown is fashioned and secured into place above it.
What necessitates a dental crown?
Despite their strength, teeth can and will sustain some damage at some point in your life. The damage could be anything from an accidental chip after banging against another object to a more serious overall break or other types of damage. Some of the more common reasons for getting a dental crown are:
- To restore a tooth that has been severely damaged or worn down. Individuals that tend to grind or gnash their teeth, especially in times of high stress and emotional anxiety, are more prone to this affliction.
- To cover up and strengthen a tooth that has been affected by decay, which causes it to crack, leaving smaller and smaller parts of the original tooth behind.
- Crowns can be used as a cover for teeth that have developed severe discolouration or are now misshapen for one reason or another.
- In cases where a tooth has degraded so badly that there is not much of it left and a filling has been put in to make up for the loss, a crown is placed over the tooth and filling to act as a cover and a support.
- Crowns are used to hold dental bridges in place. A dental bridge is a restoration device that is meant to replace one or more teeth that are missing. It is either joined to the teeth on either side to keep it in place, or, alternatively, a crown is placed on top to do so.
- They are an effective covering after a root canal has been performed. Conversely, crows are also used as covers for dental implants.
What are dental crowns made of?
There are varying materials used as basis points for the formation of dental crowns. Their differences come about in the cost of each type of crown and its durability. Dental crowns can be made of:
- Resin- The most cost-effective type of crown. They are not very long-lasting. They wear down with time and may require several replacements before all is said and done.
- Metal- metal crowns are able to withstand a lot of abuse. They do not break easily and are easily placed, even on teeth that are only partially broken. Their main drawback is their distinctive look. Having a metal crown is blatantly obvious.
- Porcelain fused to metal – a fusion of metal and porcelain; they can be relatively easy to conceal as the porcelain on top of the metal part is made to match the colour of the teeth. This is not always completely achieved as the metal sometimes shows through anyway, giving the crown an odd-looking colour.
- Porcelain/ceramic- while they are able to match the teeth better, they are not as strong as other crown types and are prone to wearing adjacent teeth down over time.
Ask your doctor if getting a crown is the best way to tackle your problem tooth.