Dental crowns are basically caps that are put over an existing tooth (which is filed down). Placement of dental crowns is a very common dental procedure that is performed to solve a number of oral health issues. Dental crowns can be used to protect a tooth that’s become fragile due to decay, to restore the look of a chipped, severely worn down, broken or discolored tooth, to keep a dental bridge in place and for cosmetic modifications.
There are several types of crowns that can be used, all having different advantages, disadvantages and price tags. In this article we have a look at the different materials that can be used for crowns and will try to provide you the information that you need to decide which type of crown would be the best option for you. Note that you should always consult with your dentist for advice on the type of crown to get before making a decision.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Stainless steel is usually only used as a material for a temporary crown. A temporary crown is usually made to protect a tooth while a permanent crown is being fabricated in the lab. They are sometimes used to cover a child’s temporary tooth because they are relatively cheap and only require one dental visit to be fitted. The stainless steel crown will come out when the child loses the temporary tooth.
All Metal Crowns
Different types of metal alloys can be used to make dental crowns. Gold alloy is commonly used for crowns. Metal crowns are very strong, which makes them last for a very long time. They also require the least amount of tooth structure to be removed to fit the crown. Because of their strength and the fact that they are very gentle on the opposing teeth, they can be a good option to cover molars for people how grind their teeth.
These types of crowns offer a look that’s more similar to natural teeth, though in some cases the metal inside of the crown can show through. They are also harder on the opposing teeth than all metal and all resin crowns so they are not such a good option for grinders.
All Resin Crowns
All resin crowns are not as hard and thus wear down and crack easier than all metal and porcelain-fused-to-metal ones, but won’t cause as much wear to opposing teeth as other crown types. They provide a good option for people who are sensitive to metals and porcelain.
All Ceramic Crowns
Ceramic crowns offer the most natural look of all types of dental crowns. They can be made to look almost exactly like your natural teeth and thus are one of the best options for front tooth crowns. They are also a good option for people with metal allergies who are not sensitive to porcelain. On the downside, ceramic crowns are not as durable as all metal crowns and not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. They also wear down the opposing teeth more than all resin and metal crowns.
As you can tell, there are a number of different types of dental crowns that you can have fitted, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. Make sure to talk to your dentist about the different options so you can make an informed choice.
Zane Schwarzlose writes for Greenspoint Dental, a Houston dental practice. Zane thinks that he’s not cool enough to have a gold crown.
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