Crown Your Dentures if you’re missing them!
A Dental Crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed on a broken or chipped tooth to restore its shape, size, appearance and strength. They are used most commonly to cover a damaged tooth or an implant.
Bridges are also used to cover the spaces if one or more teeth are missing. They are attached with cement on the natural teeth or the area around the implant where initially was a natural tooth. There are various materials used for attaching the tooth-like cement or stainless steel. While the cement crown looks more like a natural tooth, the steel crowns have gold or silver look.
Why Do You Need A Tooth Crown?
The dentist may recommend a crown for the following reasons:
- To cover a dental implant.
- To replace a large gap where there is a lack of enough tooth because it may result in shifting of the tooth which might lead to serious gum disease.
- To attach a bridge on a fractured or broken tooth
- To protect a weak tooth so that it does not get damaged further.
- To cover a tooth that has been treated with a root canal.
- To cover a discolored or badly shaped tooth.
Thus a crown or a bridge not only strengthen a damaged tooth but also improves a tooth’s appearance, shape, alignment and dental bite.
Is a Tooth Cap and a Tooth Crown the same thing?
There is absolutely no difference between a cap and a crown. Cap was used previously; however, the usage of this term is still prevalent instead of a crown as it is a part of the more common man’s diction. Some people call Veneers cap too since they literally “cap” the tooth.
There are various types of materials used for Dental Crowns namely:
- Ceramic- These crowns use porcelain-based filling materials and blend perfectly with the natural tooth. These materials are preferable for the front teeth as the material is brittle and can wear out under heavy biting. It is also used in the front teeth because it blends more naturally to the original teeth than the other materials.
- Porcelain fused to metal- It is connected with the outside of a metal structure and provides not only strength to the teeth but also seals it properly, thus preventing decay and leakage. When porcelain is fused with metal, it provides stronger restoration than the porcelain alone. In this procedure, a good amount of tooth structure is removed but it is quite durable, strong and reliable.
- Gold Alloys- These compose of gold, copper or silver materials and due to its properties gives strong adherence to the tooth structure. The material is highly biocompatible with the gum tissues. Gold Alloy is resistant to wear and fracture and thus gives a stronghold to the teeth it comes in contact with.
- Base Metal Alloy- These consists of non-noble metals like rhodium, silver, platinum etc which provides great strength to the crown, thus making the tooth highly resistant to corrosion. In this, the least amount of tooth structure is removed. The material is not only resistant to wear but also gentle to the opposing teeth.
With the advancement of technology, the dental lab produces 3-D images of the tooth and gums and thus allows the doctors, to draw the exact design of the crown. However, the technology is expensive and not all dentists may use it in their practice. The installing of a crown usually takes two dentist visits. In the first, the dentist assesses the tooth area and prepares the filling depending on the position and the severity of the damage. And then will prepare a temporary crown that protects the tooth until a permanent crown is placed. In the next visit, the temporary crown is replaced with a permanent one. The dentist positions and fastens the new crown with a special adhesive thus completing the procedure. However, it may take some time before you feel it normal in the mouth.