A dental crown is a tooth shaped ‘cap’ that is placed over an existing permanent tooth to cover the tooth. This is often done in order to restore the tooth’s shape and size, strength, and improves its appearance.
What Is A Dental Crown?
Why May A Tooth Crown Be Needed?
There are many reasons why a dental crown may be needed:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth. A dental crown is normally placed on a tooth that has been root canal treated to offer further protection
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshapen or severely discoloured teeth
- To cover a dental implant
- To make a cosmetic modification
In some cases crowns are placed on children’s’ teeth, this is done to:
- Save a tooth that has been so damaged by decay that it can’t support a filling
- Protect the teeth of a child at high risk for tooth decay, especially when a child has difficulty keeping up with daily oral hygiene
Crowns are available in many different variations and types. Here at the dentist at liberty place, there are many different types of crowns available:
Stainless steel crowns
For children, a stainless steel crown is commonly used to fit over a primary tooth that’s been prepared to fit it. The crown covers the entire tooth and protects it from further decay. When the primary tooth comes out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out naturally with it. In general, stainless steel crowns are used for children’s teeth because they don’t require multiple dental visits to put in place and so are more cost- effective than custom-made crowns.
Metallic crowns include alloys that have a high content of gold or platinum. Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Due to its metallic colour, metal crowns are a good choice for molars that are out of sight.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns
Dental crowns provide better natural colour match than any other crown type. This is the most commonly used crown here with us as ceramic crowns can be used for both front and back teeth. These crowns are highly recommended where aesthetics are a main concern.
Preparing a tooth for a crown usually requires two visits with us at The Dentist at Liberty Place.
The first step involves examining and preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent crown.
An Onlays is a variation on the technique of dental crown. The difference between this and a crown is the amount of surface are that is covered by the material. As discussed previously a crown covers the entire underlying tooth whereas an onlay and covers the underlying tooth to a lesser extent.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
On average, dental crowns last between five and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices, and your personal mouth-related habits (you should avoid such habits as grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing ice, biting fingernails, and using your teeth to open packaging).
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