A crown is a cap to the damaged tooth. A crown can be made from metal, porcelain and various materials. Your teeth might get damaged over time. Various factors, such as tooth decay, trauma, or repeated use, can be the causes. The shape and size of your teeth might change. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped "caps" put on top of the natural tooth. The crown improves the tooth's shape, size, strength, and appearance. Consider it a tight-fitting dental cap.
The dental crown is a cemented cap covering your tooth's visible portion. You may have a crown on the rarely showing molar or the front teeth, custom made so that it matches your other teeth.
When you choose a crown, there are several factors you may need to consider:
You may also need teeth that do not make your smile weird. Your dentist will discuss the many options with you and help you decide the best one according to your needs.
Types Of Dental Crowns
Various materials can be used to make dental crowns, including:
- Composite raisin
- A combination of materials
An example of a crown with a combination of materials is a porcelain crown fused to metal, unlike an all-porcelain crown.
For selecting the material of your crown, the dentist will consider factors like:
- Location of the tooth
- The function of the tooth needing a crown
- How the tooth appears on smiling
- The size of the natural tooth remaining
- Position of the gum tissue
- Colour of the surrounding teeth
You can also tell your dentist about your personal preference.
- Temporary Crown: The name tells itself about this crown. This crown will remain in your mouth only for a short period. The dentist can easily remove the adhesive used to fix this crown to make it weaker than a permanent crown. A temporary crown is used when the permanent crown is being made. You will get your permanent crown on the second appointment.
- One-day crown: One appointment can also be enough to get you a crown. Some dentists can give you the luxury of installing the crown on your very first appointment with the help of several methods that use Computer-aided manufacturing and computer-aided design (CAM/CAD). The new crown can be designed and milled through a ceramic block in the office itself.
- Onlay or ¾ crown: When a full crown is not needed, your dentist may recommend an Onlay or ¾ crown. This crown covers only a portion of the tooth. Crowns come in various shapes and sizes, and they can be placed on a variety of teeth. Onlays and 3/4 crowns are dental crowns that don't cover as much of the underlying tooth as traditional crowns do. A standard crown will cover your entire tooth. When you still have a healthy tooth structure, onlays and 3/4 crowns may be a good option. It is considered a more cautious method compared to full crown coverage. Your dentist will remove the damaged area and reshape the tooth to receive the crown during this operation.
Dental Crown Materials
Permanent crowns come in a wide range of materials. These materials can be the following:
- Metal: Palladium, gold, nickel, and chromium are some metals that can be utilised in dental crowns. Metal crowns are mostly chosen for molars that are not visible. Metal crowns are the least prone to chip or shatter, have the most extended wear life, and require just minor tooth removal. They are also tough when it comes to biting and chewing. The gleaming tint is the major downside of this type of crown.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal: The colour of the teeth next to the crown can be matched with this dental crown. Their teeth have a more natural colour. However, the metal behind the porcelain crown cover occasionally peeks through as a black line. The porcelain piece of the crown could fracture or come loose, and the crown could wear down the teeth on either side of it in the mouth. Teeth that come in touch with the crown while closed are particularly affected by this wear on the other teeth. Dental crowns made of porcelain-fused-to-metal can be used on the front or rear teeth.
- All-raisins: Resin dental crowns are typically less expensive than other crown types. They do, however, deteriorate with time and are more likely to break than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain: These dental crowns have the best natural colour match compared to other crowns. If you're allergic to metals, they are a great option. However, they are not as long-lasting as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. They can also cause teeth on the other side of the mouth to wear down faster than metal or resin crowns. All-ceramic crowns are a realistic alternative for front teeth.
- Pressed ceramic: There is a solid core in these dental crowns. Pressed ceramic dental crowns replace the metal liner used in the all-ceramic crown-making procedure. They're also more long-lasting than an all-porcelain crown. There is a capping of a pressed ceramic crown on the Porcelain crowns for the greatest natural colour match.
When Do You Need A Crown?
When a cavity in your tooth is big enough that it can not be filled, then you may require a crown. You may also require a crown if the tooth is:
- Severely worn down
You might also need a crown after the root canal process because the tooth becomes fragile and requires protection. If you lose a tooth, you may also require a crown, and the dentist will then have to put a tooth implant or dental bridge.
You may require a dental crown for various reasons, like:
- Saving a weak tooth from breaking (perhaps due to decay) or holding a fragile tooth together if pieces of it have been broken
- Putting a tooth back together after being extensively damaged or worn down.
- Covering and supporting a tooth with a few remaining teeth with a big filling.
- Keeping it in place with a dental bridge
- Covering crooked or severely discoloured teeth
- Covering a dental implant
- Covering a root canal treated tooth
Dental Crown Costs
The cost of a crown may range from $800 to $1500 or more. The price depends on the material of the crown and the size of your tooth. A gold crown may be as costly as $2500. Sometimes, all-metal crowns made of metal alloys cost lesser than porcelain or gold crowns. If the dentist needs to do extensive pre-preparation, the cost of the crown may increase. For example, there may be a need for a root canal or dental implant, which requires more money. Dental insurance would cover a part or all the costs of the crown. The insurance company will be able to tell you the coverage details. Consult with your dentist about the types of crowns and what would be the best for you to calculate your dental costs.
The processes for the same-day procedures and multi-day procedures are different.
The Multi-day Procedure With A Temporary Crown
A traditional crown requires at least two visits to the dentist.
- The dentist recognises and prepares the tooth in need of a crown. They may take X-rays of the tooth. A mould of the tooth or mouth is also taken beforehand.
- The dentist will file the tooth and remove a part of the outer layer of the tooth.
- He will make an impression of the trimmed tooth with surrounding teeth.
- Your dentist will place a temporary crown over the tooth for its protection.
- A lab makes the crown with the impression from the dentist. The crown may take several weeks to arrive.
- When the crown arrives, you have your second visit to the dentist for cementing the crown to the tooth.
You can skip getting a temporary crown by opting for a same-day procedure.
- The dentist clicks digital pictures of your mouth.
- The dentist produces the crown in-office itself with the digital scan from photos. This process may take around 1-2 hours.
- After the crown is ready, the dentist will fix it with cement to your tooth. The entire process takes around 2-4 hours.
You may even go back to your office when the crown is made, depending upon your specific situation. Same-day crowns can not be made at every dental clinic due to a lack of technology. Check with your dentist for the availability of this option and the cost, especially if there is no dental insurance for you.
Dental Crown Care
After getting the crown, you must take good care of it. It will increase the life of your crown. Some tips that can be helpful are:
- Brush your teeth carefully. If you do not brush your teeth twice daily, this is the time to start. If your crown or the surrounding teeth are sensitive to cold or heat, you can use toothpaste for sensitive teeth.
- If you floss your teeth daily, your teeth will be good.
- You should avoid hard foods because chewing hard food, like ice, might crack the crown, especially a porcelain crown.
- Use a nightguard if you have the habit of grinding or clenching your teeth. It will protect the crown and the surrounding teeth.
Temporary Dental Crown Care
You need to be very gentle with a temporary crown due to the temporary adhesive.
Brush as you usually do; just be extra gentle. While flossing, try pulling out floss from the side of the tooth instead of snapping back upwards, leading to crown dislocation. If your crown dislocates or breaks, call your dentist. He will be able to fix it or get a new one till the permanent one arrives.
Possible Complications Of Having A Crown
The crown is a beneficial solution to problems in particular teeth. But, some risks and complications may come with a crown:
- Teeth Sensitivity: A crowned tooth can often become sensitive to heat or cold. As the anaesthetic wears off, a newly crowned tooth may be sensitive just after the treatment. If the capped tooth has a nerve remaining, you may have some heat and cold sensation. Your dentist may suggest you brush your teeth with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. When you bite down, you may feel pain or sensitivity, indicating that the fit is incorrect. If this is the case, contact the dentist right once. It is a simple problem to solve. Consult your doctor about changing the placement of the crown or filling the top of the crown. But, if it is too sensitive to pressure while biting, the fit may be off. Consult your doctor about changing the placement of the crown or filling the top of the crown.
- Chipped crown: Some types of crowns, mainly all kinds of porcelain crowns, are vulnerable to chipping. Your dentist may fix minor chipping. Small chips in the crown can be repaired, allowing the crown to stay in your mouth. If the chip is large or several, the dental crown may need to be replaced. The porcelain in the porcelain-fused-metal crowns may chip down and reveal the crown's metal portion. These chips may not require any repairs if the metal is intact.
- Crown knocked out or loosed: If the quantity of cement used to fix the crown is insufficient, the crown may get loose or even fall out. Go to your dentist if you feel your crown is loose or wiggly. A dental crown has a chance of falling out. It is generally due to an incorrect fit or a shortage of cement when this happens. Make an appointment with your dentist if this happens to you. Your dentist will give you specific advice on caring for your tooth and crown until you can come in for an appointment. Your crown may be able to be re-cemented in place by your dentist. If He cannot reinstall the crown, you will require a new crown.
- Allergic reaction: Not common, but some people may have allergic reactions to the metal present in some crowns. Metals used to construct dental crowns are frequently a mix of metals. The metal or porcelain used in the dental crown can cause an allergic response. It is, however, quite uncommon.
- Gum disease: If the gums surrounding your crown get sore or irritated or start bleeding, this may indicate gingivitis or gum disease. A dark line may appear near the gum line of your crowned teeth. The crown's metal may be seen through the black stripe. It's a regular occurrence, especially if your crown is porcelain fused to metal.
The Life Span Of Dental Crowns
A dental crown may last somewhere between 5 to 25 years. Some crowns have higher strength than others and may last longer. A study conducted in 2016 involved applying high bite forces to three types of monolithic crowns and concluded that monolithic zirconia crowns are the least vulnerable to damage. A solid piece of material like zirconia is used to make a monolithic crown. The researchers conducted the studies on models. They also said that other factors like crown placement could affect the results in a person. Generally, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns or gold crowns are supposed to last the longest. All-porcelain and all-ceramic crowns look more natural, but they are weaker than the metal or porcelain0fused-to-metal ones. All-resin crowns also do not last long. If you take good care, the crowns may last many years.
Alternative To Dental Crown
A dentist may usually recommend the best suitable option for your specific situation or the best alternate option available. For instance, your tooth may be too weak or worn down for supporting a regular filling, so veneer for the front tooth or other treatment is prescribed. If the cavity in the tooth may be too big to fill, then a crown may be the best option to protect your tooth.
A dental crown could answer all your issues if you've been suffering from a toothache. This ordinary dental operation entails removing any pain-causing decay from the tooth and replacing it with a long-lasting construction that looks identical to the surrounding teeth. It is especially true of porcelain crowns, which are widely used to treat toothaches in the front of the mouth.
If your tooth needs a crown, your dentist will be the advisor to guide you. You can choose from the various available options, and if you want to get the crown in a single visit or multiple visits are required. Every tooth gets a unique crown, but some types of crowns may appeal more to you than others. But, the decision is based on the needs of your tooth, and you should discuss everything with your dentist. And if you do not want to get a crown, start taking care of your teeth today only. Have a beautiful smile!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Is it necessary for me to take special precautions for my dental crown?
No particular care is required for a crowned tooth. On the other hand, the underlying tooth must remain free of decay and gum disease. As a result, you should keep practising good dental hygiene. Brushing twice and flossing once daily are suggested, particularly in the crown area where the gum meets the teeth. Porcelain crowns should not be a bit on rough surfaces to avoid cracking (for example, eating ice or popcorn hulls).
What happens after I get a dental crown?
Following treatment, there may be some irritation, sensitivity, discomfort, or inflammation of the treated tooth for a few days. In a few days, these feelings will subside. Crowns can last up to ten years if properly maintained. The following are some suggestions for caring for dental crowns:
- Brush your teeth with care.
- If you have sensitive teeth, use toothpaste.
- Brush teeth at least once a day.
- Do not eat anything hard.
- To avoid bruxism-related problems, wear a nightguard (grinding or clenching the teeth at night).
Will dental insurance cover the procedure cost?
Although your dental insurance may pay the cost, some policies only cover certain types of crowns. Consult your dentist about the various crown options accessible to you. Before making a decision, make sure to contact your insurance company.
Do I need to avoid some foods after I get a crown?
The good news is that once you receive your permanent crown, you shouldn't have to adjust your dietary habits. You will probably feel much better and may be able to resume eating foods that you had stopped eating due to pain. However, while wearing a temporary crown, you must be cautious. A dentist will go over the specifics with you, but he will most likely tell you to curb the amount of pressure you apply on the temporary crown. The dentist may ask you to stay away from particular meals. Daily dental hygiene will be critical in all teeth, especially crown teeth. Keeping a close check on the crown's site will be necessary to ensure that degradation does not develop beneath the teeth.
How long will it take to station a dental crown?
Crown treatments can take two appointments or be done in one day. Typically, you'll finish your initial visit with a temporary crown in place while your permanent crown is made, which can take several weeks. On the other hand, a crown can be made in-house using Computer-Aided Designing with a 3D printing device or Computer-Aided manufacturing or a comparable machine. This approach eliminates the need for a temporary crown and can be finished in a single day.