Auburn Endodontist

Dental CrownsAuburn, CA

Advancement in dental technology has resulted in changes to dental crowns, increasing the material choices, and the outlook of the dental restoration. In this article, you will learn about different types of dental crowns and their applications, with a special focus on dental implants.

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What are the applications of dental crowns?

Dental crowns have different applications in dentistry, including:

  • To protect a weak or fragile tooth
  • To cover the tooth after a root canal
  • To complete a dental implant procedure
  • To hold a dental bridge
  • To cover cosmetic defects on a tooth

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Dental crown materials

There are many types of materials used for fabricating a dental crown. Metal crowns can be created using base-metal alloys, gold or platinum. These crowns have high durability and are resistant to chips and breakage. The drawback is that they stand out from the rest of the teeth, meaning they cannot be used for front-row teeth. They are best suited for molars at the back of the mouth. Patients who are self-conscious about their appearance may opt to benefit from alternatives.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are created by covering metal alloy with a layer of porcelain to customize them to match the rest of the teeth. The metal layer makes the crown extra strong, but it has its drawbacks. After some time, the metal may show an outline along the gum line. The porcelain layer may also chip off eventually.

Resin crowns are fabricated from tooth-colored resin and are the least expensive of all, as well as the least durable. The resin material is more prone to cracking and breaking and may deteriorate with time.

Porcelain crown offers the best cosmetic advantage, as the dentist can easily match them to the rest of the teeth. The material looks great and is strong enough for high durability. Implant crowns are typically made from porcelain materials to make the restoration completely natural.

The difference between a temporary and permanent dental crown

It is common for the dentist to offer a temporary dental crown after completing dental implant surgery or other dental procedures. The temporary crown will be in place while the permanent crown is in production. They are usually cheap and made from less durable materials like acrylic.

Dental crown procedure

Dental crown placement is typically painless and in many cases, may require two to three visits to the dental office, depending on the type of crown. The dentist will take impressions or mold of the teeth, which will be sent to the dental lab that will create the dental crown. Necessary adjustments will be made to ensure that the crown is comfortable and fits perfectly.

After a few weeks, the final dental crown will be ready, and the patient will return to the dental office for another appointment. The dentist will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent crown. Again, they will check the bite to ensure that everything is in order.

Caring for the dental crown

Dental crowns do not require special maintenance. To ensure that the new crown lasts, patients must maintain good oral health habits. This includes brushing the teeth twice daily, flossing at least once daily, and using mouthwash. Also, regular visits to the dentist are important for checkups and deep cleaning. Failure to keep the mouth healthy can cause infections that may compromise the structural integrity of the dental crowns. The durability of the dental crown typically depends on the level of care and maintenance, as well as the crown’s material. With proper care, a dental crown can survive up to 15 years or more.

Dental crowns for implant restorations

When undergoing a dental implant procedure, one of the considerations would be the attachment mechanism of the dental crown. Dental implant restoration consists of a titanium post that is embedded inside the jawbone to serve as the root for the new tooth and the visible, natural-looking dental crown created from porcelain material. The implant crown connects to an abutment on the implants. There are two methods for connecting the dental crown: either by cementing it onto the implant or by creating a screw on the crown to fit onto the abutment.

The significant benefit of using a screwed crown is that it allows seamless removal of the crown for repair or replacement. Although one can expect the titanium post to last a lifetime, the porcelain crown may need to be changed or repaired because it bears the brunt of chewing and biting forces. A screwed dental crown is much simpler to remove than cemented crowns.

However, screwed crowns have a tiny access hole that must be covered with a tooth-colored filling to make the implant restoration look natural. This is not a problem for teeth in the back, but it could make the front teeth look less natural. Cemented crowns have a more natural appearance and therefore, have better cosmetic appeal.

Aside from the chance that the cement used may result in bone loss or gum inflammation, the main drawback of using cemented crowns is the challenge of removing them. The crown will probably be damaged during the removal process, meaning it will most likely need to be replaced than repaired. The dentist may consider using a weaker cement, but there is a high risk of the crown loosening from the abutment eventually.

When planning the single tooth implant procedure, the implant specialist will also discuss the best dental crown attachment. The choice of a dental crown depends on the tooth involved and the state of the patient’s oral health. Ultimately, the goal is to achieve a natural-looking dental restoration that can last for several years.

Cost of getting dental crowns

The cost depends on the type of crown material. Most insurance providers cover dental crowns, so the cost depends on the patient’s insurance plan. During the consultation, the dentist will discuss the estimated price of treatment.

Final note

Dental crowns are an excellent option for protecting and restoring lost teeth. While it may seem cumbersome initially, the dentist will walk you through the process and help you make an excellent choice of a dental crown, especially for an implant restoration.