The Crowning Solution to Some Dental Problems
There are several dental conditions for which the appropriate treatment is a dental crown. A crown, also known as a cap, is a covering that is placed over a tooth and is the same shape as a tooth. Unlike dentures, the crown is permanently attached to the tooth and can be removed only by a dentist. It offers an effective restoration of the tooth's size and shape.
A Crown For Tooth
A crown may be needed for a variety of conditions. It may be used to fortify a weakened tooth, protect a broken or cracked tooth from further breakage, protect a tooth with a large filling that has little of the tooth left, secure a dental bridge in place, or to cover seriously discoloured or misshapen teeth.
Tooth implants and teeth on which a root canal has been done also may require crowns. Dental caps are also sometimes used on baby teeth in children if there is a tooth too severely damaged by decay to support a filling.
There are currently several different types of materials used to make dental crowns. For teeth that are not readily visible, molars for example, metal may be a good choice.
There are several metals currently in use for crowns, mainly gold, nickel, palladium, platinum, and chromium. Metal caps are very durable and can endure the forces involved in biting and chewing.
For a more natural-looking tooth, porcelain that has been fused to metal may be the material of choice. They are not as durable as metal alone, as it's possible for the porcelain to chip, but because they have a more natural tooth color, can be used on either front or back teeth.
The chances of getting the closest match to the natural tooth color are offered by crowns made completely of porcelain or ceramic.
Although they don't have the strength and durability of crowns made of porcelain that has been fused to metal, they are a good choice for front teeth because of their aesthetic appeal. They are also a good choice for people who may be sensitive to metals.
Yet another choice in crown material is that of ceramic topped with porcelain. This type of crown has a rigid inner core. A good match in color can be obtained and they are more durable than porcelain alone.
The lifespan of a dental crown varies from a few years to a lifetime, depending on the forces to which it's subjected and how attentive a person is to oral hygiene. Teeth should be brushed at least twice a day and dental floss used every day, paying special attention to the area surrounding the crown.
Poor oral habits, such as biting on hard objects, tooth-grinding, or using teeth to open things can take a toll on dental crowns and should be avoided.
Consultation with your dentist can help you both decide on the type of crown that's right for you. Cost of the crown will vary, depending on the material chosen and the area where you live. Dental insurance will usually help pay part of the cost. Regular visits to the dentist, coupled with good oral habits, can help ensure that you have a beautiful smile for life.