What is a dental crown?
A dental crown, commonly known as a cap, is a type of restoration which is either placed on top of a compromised tooth, or an implant. It is fixed on top of the tooth with the help of specialized cement which offers ideal bonding. There are a several materials that can be used to fabricate crowns, depending upon the needs and the budget of the patient. The two main purposes that crowns serve in the oral cavity are strength and aesthetics.
What are the indications for dental crowns?
Crowns are fixed prosthesis that can be used in the following scenarios:
- Covering a fractured or broken tooth
- Covering a tooth severely affected by tooth wear
- Covering a tooth after root canal treatment or a large filling
- Covering a weak tooth that is likely to chip or break because of the forces of mastication (chewing)
- Supporting a bridge
- Covering an implant
- Covering a tooth which has irregular shape, or discoloration
What are the different types of crowns?
Based on the materials used for fabrication, the different kinds of crowns being used at Lake Pointe Dental include:
- Metal crowns: Metals used in crown fabrication include stainless steel, or alloys of gold, palladium, chromium and nickel. Metal crowns offer better strength to withstand the forces in the oral cavity and require comparatively less tooth preparation or trimming prior to cementation. The main disadvantage of these crowns is the fact that they do not match the color of the natural teeth and therefore do not offer ideal aesthetics.
- Porcelain and ceramic crowns: Though not quite as strong as metal crowns, porcelain and ceramic crowns offer the advantage of an ideal tooth color match. This means that these crowns can be used for capping anterior (front) teeth as well.
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns: As the name indicated, these crowns are fabricated by fusing porcelain to metal. The metal surface covers the tooth whereas the porcelain surface is the only one that is visible in the oral cavity. PFM crowns are undoubtedly the most popular of all types today. They offer excellent strength and aesthetics simultaneously.
Dental crowns can either be temporary or permanent.
- Temporary crowns: Temporary crowns can easily be fabricated in the dental office and placed into the oral cavity during the same appointment. These are usually placed after an impression is taken for permanent crowns, or if the patient requires immediate restoration. These are generally made using acrylic.
- Permanent crowns: Permanent crowns are fabricated in laboratory and require a certain amount of time for preparation.
They are created with reference to the impression of the affected tooth. Unlike temporary crowns, the permanent ones are bonded using specialized luting cements that ensure strong adhesion to the tooth structure.
Is the crown treatment an invasive procedure?
Crowns require tooth preparation before they can be cemented permanently. Preparation refers to the reduction of the natural tooth structure from some or all surfaces using a mechanical hand-piece to ensure proper seating of the crown in the mouth, and to prevent its dislodgment. At Lake Pointe Dental, Dr. Mendoza, Frisco Dentist offers local anesthesia to patients who either have sensitive teeth or a low pain threshold so that the treatment is an entirely painless experience for them. After the procedure, a complete set of instructions is given to all patients on how they can clean and maintain the fixed prosthesis.
Dr. Mendoza, Frisco Cosmetic Dentsity also offers treatment options for the restoration and replacement of broken/chipped crowns. You can discuss your options in tooth replacement with the team at Lake Pointe Dental and select your preferred treatment based on your case and budget.
Please take a moment to watch our video on a Dental Crown procedure.