Damaged, unhealthy, and missing teeth can not only affect your smile, but your oral health as a whole. Luckily, your dental professional can restore your smile with a common dental crown procedure. Dental crowns for teeth can come in a range of materials and with a technologically advanced dental office such as Midtown Dental, your procedure can be completed the same day.
Why Do I Need a Dental Crown for my Teeth?
Your dental professional may recommend having a tooth crowned as part of your treatment plan for oral health or cosmetic reasons, including:
- A missing tooth or teeth
- A crack or chip
- Part of a Root Canal Treatment
- Restoring the Chewing Surface
- Damage from constant Teeth Grinding
- Discoloration or Tooth Decay
The American Dental Association explains that when a tooth is discolored, badly shaped or weak due to a large filling, a dental crown provides an attractive fix for your teeth. Dental crowns are also used for other reasons, such as an anchor for a dental bridge or protective covering after root canal therapy. Typically, when there isn’t enough tooth structure left and dental filing is not enough, a crown is used to help restore the tooth back to its natural look, shape and size.
Types of Dental Crowns Materials
Your dentist has many options when it comes to the type of material they recommend for your dental crown treatment. Crowns can consist of ceramic, resin, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, all metal materials and others. Your crown type will depend on your medical needs, budget, and cosmetic desires. It’s important to understand that no one kind of dental crown material is the best solution in all circumstances. The dental professionals at Midtown Dental will explain the options and benefits of each material available for your treatment plan.
Ceramic Crowns – A ceramic crown is a porcelain based material that provides a natural look and can be blended to match with your other natural teeth. When you are especially concerned about the appearance of the crown, ceramic is a great choice. In recent years, new ceramics that are incredibly strong and durable have been introduced and been used successfully on posterior teeth. These specific materials are both esthetic and highly durable. At Midtown Dental, our state of the art CEREC Machine can be used to create a ceramic crown in one visit. You can read more about our CEREC Crowns here.
Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns - A porcelain crown is fused over metal and offers a great middle ground between all ceramic crowns and all metal crowns. With this type of crown, an outer layer of porcelain is covered over a base metal. Porcelain crowns for your teeth are extremely strong, and they look great as well. In some situations, they can look as great as a ceramic crown. Some of the disadvantages of a porcelain crown for your tooth is that if your gum tissue starts to recede a little, some of the metal may start to show. It can also be possible in certain situations where part of the porcelain outer layer may crack or chip.
Gold Crowns – Gold crowns are the most unique dental crown option for your tooth. While referred to as gold tooth crowns, they are actually made of a combination of gold, copper and other metals. Gold crowns are among the strongest materials available and are highly bio-compatible with your gums and other teeth. Gold crowns are very resistant to wear or fracture, while gentle to your surrounding teeth. However, one thing that is most obvious with a gold crown is its color – gold! So, from a cosmetic dentistry perspective, it’s an important factor to consider. Typically, gold crowns are used for back teeth, where the appearance of the tooth is not as important. Gold crown costs are typically higher as well, considering real gold is used to produce them.
Metal Alloy Crowns – A metal alloy crown for your tooth is made out of a non-noble or precious metal, such as nickel, cobalt, chromium or beryllium. These types of crowns are very strong and have a high resistance to corrosion. It’s also very resistant to wear and gentle to opposing teeth. However, similar to gold crowns, the non-white appearance of metal alloy crowns can make them undesirable for cosmetic appearance.
Stainless Steel Crowns: Stainless steel crowns are generally used as a temporary dental crown or as a lower cost option for children that will soon lose the tooth. If your permanent crown requires a dental lab to create the replacement, these pre-made options may be used as a temporary place holder for the missing tooth. Like the metal alloy crowns, they do not have an optimal cosmetic appearance, but are very durable.
At Midtown Dental in Sacramento, we will walk you through all the options and help you understand the various options for your dental crown procedure. Every patient’s case is unique and our doctors will find the best fit for your teeth.
Creating a Dental Crown for your Teeth
Regardless of which crown material is best for your teeth, the crown will have to be made or fabricated. Based on the type of material and technology available, the crown can be made in different ways. Traditionally, dental crowns are made by a dental laboratory after a mold of your teeth are taken in the dental office. The dentist places crown temporary crown and you must return to the office for a second appointment when the crown is ready, usually in 2-3 weeks, for a crown fitting and final placement.
Crowns that have gold or other metal components must be sent to a lab, but ceramic crowns can be made right in your dentist office while you wait. At Midtown Dental, we utilize the latest CEREC crown technology to scan your teeth digitally and create or mill your crown in the office. By working digitally, we can offer same day dentistry, eliminating the need for temporary crowns and return visits.
Luckily, most teeth can now be digitally scanned for crowns, regardless of the material selected. This process ensures the most accurate transfer of information to either your dentist or the lab technician. Traditionally, when an impression or mold of the teeth are taken, that impression is then poured in plaster by a technician. That model is then used to fabricate your dental crown. In general, the more steps needed to fabricate the final crown, the more room there is for error. In some cases, a traditional impression is still favored over a digital scan, however, digital scanning is becoming more and more accepted and favored as a method to transferring key information from the mouth to the lab technician or dentist.
Caring for Dental Crowns
Caring for a dental crown is similar to any other tooth. Proper dental care consisting of a normal brushing and flossing routine is critical to maintain the longevity and health of the crown. A well cared for and maintained dental crown can last a long time. However, it is possible for a dental crown to sometimes come loose or fall out. If this happens, you should see your Sacramento dentist so he or she can evaluate the remaining tooth structure and the integrity of the existing crown. In some cases, the damaged tooth can simply be re-cemented, while in others the crown may need to be redone or additional treatment may be needed for the tooth. It is important to understand why the crown came off in the first place to ensure a successful outcome.