What is a dental crown, and why do I need one? A dental crown is an artificial cover fixed over a damaged tooth. Crowns serve various purposes based on their materials, durability, and type. A functional crown should fit right in the tooth line, whereas aesthetic crowns are mostly for appearances.
Crowns are needed to protect teeth for many reasons, such as due to wear and tear, time, fillings, and trauma. Crowns are also used to restore stained, damaged, or otherwise compromised teeth. Crowns help keep your dental structure intact and keep teeth from decaying.
Having crowns in your teeth can be beneficial for various reasons but mostly for your oral health. You’re going to want to choose a crown based on your needs and with the resources you have available. When considering the material it’s made out of, keep in mind the kinds of foods you eat. The look may or may not affect your decision. Also, price can be a big factor, which also affects the material and strength options you can choose from.
The most common type of material used for crowns in teeth is ceramic, and the popularity of this type is due to their look. These crowns are ideal for a more natural look. The trade off is that they are very fragile and cost a little more than other crowns.
Porcelain-fused to metal type
PFM crowns are more durable than ceramic crowns and are generally cheaper. The durability is due to the metal lining reinforcements. However, the metallic edges will show due to receding gum lines, so this may not be ideal for you if you’re going for that natural look. If looks are not important to you, these crowns may be a better option.
Your dentist may discuss different PFM crowns to choose from. The differences are based on the location of the metal and porcelain margins.
Gold alloy type
These crowns are usually made up of a metallic mixture consisting of copper, platinum, and nickel, but these materials can vary based on the integrity and strength of the crown you want. Gold is very strong, won’t break or chip as easily as ceramic crowns, and won’t wear down the surrounding teeth. Sounds awesome right? The price doesn’t sound awesome though. Obviously, being such a precious metal, it’s going to be pretty expensive to fashion a small tooth made of gold.
Base metal type
These crowns are usually made up of nickel, chromium, cobalt, and beryllium. These base metal crowns are known for their strength and remarkably high resistance to corrosion. Base metal crowns are also friendly to neighboring teeth, as they tend to require very little removal of your tooth structure.
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Adding a dental crown usually requires two appointments. At the first appointment, the tooth is shaped and prepared for the crown. This is done so the crown can easily fit over the tooth. Then, an impression is taken of the teeth line and a temporary crown is placed over the tooth. During the second appointment, the temporary crown is replaced by the actual crown with dental cement to hold it in place.
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