Are you experiencing tooth decay, a cracked tooth, or a cosmetic issue with your teeth? Dental crowns might be the solution you're looking for! Dental crowns are one of the most common restorative dental procedures used to restore damaged teeth and improve the overall appearance of your smile. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about dental crowns, including what they are, how they work, types of dental crowns, the procedure, benefits, and more.
What are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown, also known as a dental cap, is a custom-made dental restoration that covers the entire visible portion of a tooth above the gumline. It is used to protect and strengthen a tooth that is decayed, cracked, weakened, or has undergone a root canal treatment. Dental crowns are designed to mimic the natural shape, size, and color of your teeth, making them blend seamlessly with your natural smile.
How do Dental Crowns Work?
Dental crowns work by encasing the damaged tooth like a protective cap, providing support and restoring its function. The process typically involves several steps:
Examination and Preparation: Your dentist will examine your tooth and determine if a dental crown is the appropriate treatment. If so, the tooth will be prepared by removing any decay or damage, and reshaping it to create a suitable foundation for the crown.
Impressions: Your dentist will take impressions of your teeth, which will be sent to a dental lab to custom-make your dental crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown may be placed on your tooth to protect it.
Custom Fabrication: Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, metal, or a combination of both. Your dentist will help you choose the material that best suits your needs and aesthetics.
Permanent Placement: Once your custom dental crown is ready, your dentist will remove the temporary crown (if placed) and bond the permanent crown onto your tooth using dental cement. The crown will be carefully adjusted to ensure a proper fit and bite.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are several types of dental crowns available, each with its unique advantages and disadvantages. The common types of dental crowns include:
Porcelain Crowns: These crowns are made entirely of porcelain and are the most aesthetically pleasing option. They closely mimic the natural color and translucency of your teeth, making them an ideal choice for front teeth.
Metal Crowns: These crowns are made of various metals, such as gold, silver, or alloy. They are incredibly durable and long-lasting, making them suitable for back teeth that undergo a lot of chewing forces. However, they may not be as aesthetically pleasing as porcelain crowns.
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns: These crowns have a metal base with a porcelain overlay, combining the durability of metal crowns with the aesthetics of porcelain crowns. They are a popular choice for both front and back teeth.
Zirconia Crowns: These crowns are made of zirconia, a strong and durable ceramic material. They are known for their excellent strength, aesthetics, and biocompatibility, making them a popular choice for both front and back teeth.
The Dental Crown Procedure
The dental crown procedure typically involves two visits to the dentist's office. During the first visit, your tooth will be prepared, and impressions will be taken. A temporary crown may be placed to protect your tooth while the permanent crown is being fabricated. In the second visit, the permanent crown will be placed and bonded onto your tooth. The procedure is generally painless and straightforward, and local anesthesia