Dental Crown Procedure

Dental crown is effective way to restore a damaged tooth. The crown or cap covers the damaged tooth! In most cases part of the tooth will have to be chipped away to create room for the designed crown. The crown doesn’t replace the tooth, but rather provides a new cover for the affected tooth. Unlike dental implants, fixing dental crown is less painful and takes less time to complete.

What is a dental crown or cap? A prosthetic object used to fix damage caused by decay, fracture, wear and tear, and cavity. Covering a damaged tooth is the main purpose of this treatment. Nevertheless, the treatment can be used to strength the teeth and enhance overall appearance.

When it comes to crown, there is plenty to choose from, such as ceramic, porcelain-fused to metal, gold alloys, and base metal alloys. Another remarkable fact about dental crowns is that they can be used to treat damaged teeth in children. The crown is made by first taking detailed impression of the affected tooth.

How long can a crown last? Dental crown can last at least 5 to 15 years. This depend on a number of reasons, such as amount of wear and tear, oral hygiene practices, harmful mouth-related habits (grinding, biting fingernails, chewing ice, using your teeth as scissors, pliers or bottle opener among other habits). In this article, we are going to discuss process, types, and pros and cons of dental crown.

How is A Dental Crown fitted?

  • Tooth examination and preparation
During the first visit to the dentist, he/she will examine and prepare the tooth. The dentist will evaluate the tooth, and take a few X-rays for further evaluation. The X-rays will enable the dentist to view the structure of the tooth receiving the crown especially the root as well as the tooth surroundings. In case of severe damage, such as extensive decay, the dentist must perform a root canal procedure.

The next preparation procedure is chipping off part of the affected tooth. First, the dentist will numb the tooth together with the surround gum tissue, and then he/she will chip part of the tooth to create room for the crown. The type of crown you have selected will determine the amount of tooth to be removed. Sometimes a large piece of the tooth can miss due to severe damage or decay. In such a case, your dentist will have to carry out tooth filling to enhance crown support.

The third step is making an impression. Your dentist will make impression of the tooth in question. He/she will send the impression to the dental lab for crown to be made. Within two to three weeks your dentist will receive the crown. The dentist will have to cover the prepared tooth with a temporary crown for protection during the two-three weeks of waiting.

  • Cementing the Permanent dental crown
During the second visit to your dentist, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be cemented. Before cementing it, the dentist will check how the crown shade blends with the color of the surrounding teeth as well as the crown fit. If everything fits perfectly, he will cement the crown permanently.

Types of Dental Crowns

There are four types of dental crowns that one can choose from; ceramic, porcelain-fused to metal, gold alloys, and base metal alloys.

  • All ceramic crowns
These types of crowns are made of ceramic material only. They are form of cosmetic crowns. The crowns aren’t only used to restore damaged teeth, but also as a method of cosmetic dentistry. Ceramic makes them more attractive and can blend easily with the existing teeth. Ceramic crowns come in two types; Zirconia and E-max. However, one of the drawbacks is that they are prone to breaking and cracking. In fact, compared to other types of crowns, they are less durable.

The crowns are designed for people who prefer crowns with natural appearance or patient who have minimal mouth space.

  • Porcelain fused to metal
Although, they are less appealing than other types of crowns, they are perfect dental crown treatment for back teeth. Porcelain fused near metal crowns is less expensive than all ceramic crowns. The metals alloys used to fuse the porcelain have high melting temperature to ensure no porcelain color change during the fitting process. The metals also provide the stability and strength needed by the crown. They are more durable as compared to all ceramic crowns. The main drawback of these crowns is that they required removal of a large piece of tooth structure. Also, they can damage the opposite teeth as you chew and bite.

  • Gold Alloy
The gold alloy crowns are usually made from a mixture of gold, copper and other metals. Unlike ceramic crowns, they tend to be durable. In fact, gold alloys will not wear and tear that easily. Also, they provide stronger bond than the other types of crowns. They are more expensive than other crowns out here except all porcelain crowns.

With gold alloy, expect no damage to the surroundings! Your dentist may recommend gold alloy crowns treatment for damaged tooth structure or after root canal procedure. Also, they are perfect for cosmetic dentistry! The crowns are also very gentle to the opposing teeth.

  • Base Metal alloy
Base metal alloy crowns are made of noble metals! The metals used are characterized by high resistance to corrosion as well as wear and tear. The base metal alloy crowns are preferred due to the fact that they are light weight, gentle to opposing teeth and affordable. Another advantage is they require the removal of a small part of the affected teeth.

Dental Crown Pros and cons

Dental crown is a remarkable treatment for damaged tooth that can help in restoring the tooth functions from eating, smiling to appearance. This is one of the treatments for broken tooth! The treatment pros outweigh the cons! Some of the drawbacks should be considered when determining the best dental treatment for a given patient. This section will outline the main pros and cons of dental crowns.

  • Pros; Uses
Dental crowns offer a long-term solution due to their durability. In fact, they last for about 5 to 15 years! Most cases of dental crowns treatment has been a success: Something that has been proven by numerous scientific studies. Dental crown is not only a method of treatment, but also a cosmetic dentistry procedure. Dental crown can treat a number of dental problems such as;

  • Broken or cracked tooth
Although the enamel (acts as tooth cover) is the hardest part of your tooth, sometimes it can crack or break due to a number of reasons, Tooth fracture is a common dental problem. If you have a chipped, cracked or broken tooth, don’t worry! Dental crown is great treatment for such a problem. This treatment is recommended for severely cracked or broken tooth. If a large piece of tooth is chipped off, the dentist will grind part of the remaining tooth and fix it with a custom crown.

  • Tooth decay
Sometimes the bacteria in your mouth may produce acid that feeds on your tooth. As a result tooth decay occurs! If not treated on time the tooth decay can cause severe cavity, dental pain, infection, and even tooth loss. Dental crown is one of the popular treatments for tooth decay.

Dental crown is recommendable if the tooth is severely damaged. A crown or cap is designed to fix the tooth.

  • Worn out tooth
The loss of tooth surface is referred to as tooth wear. Decay or fracture can’t cause tooth wear! Grinding and bruxism are major causes of tooth wear. Another cause of tooth wear is friction, also known as abrasion. In addition, acid from foods and drinks can cause tooth wear.

Signs and symptoms of worn out tooth includes, sensitivity to extreme temperatures and dental pain when chewing or biting. Nevertheless, this condition is treatable. The damaged caused through loss of tooth surface can be treatment by use of dental crown. Dental crown will make the most durable solution.

  • Dental implant
Crown and implant are treatment for damaged tooth. However, a crown can be used to cover a dental implant.

  • Root canal procedure
After a root canal procedure, dental crowns can act as protector or finishing touch. Use of dental crowns will strengthen the teeth and prolong the lifespan. Nevertheless, dental crown treatment isn’t applicable is all cases of root canal.

  • Cosmetic dentistry
Crowns can also be used to enhance the teeth appearance! Sometimes crowns may be used solely to improve dental aesthetics. Ceramic and porcelain crowns have a natural catchy appearance and their color blends with your existing teeth.

  • Cons
There a number of drawbacks that comes with this dental treatment, such as;

  • Discomfort
Immediately after the procedure you may experience discomfort or sensitivity. This happens becomes the crown teeth still has a nerve! The solution to such a problem is brushing with toothpaste for sensitive teeth as recommended by the dentist. Sometimes you might experience dental pain when you bite or chew. This happens if the crown was cemented too high on the tooth. In case, of pain you should call your dentist as soon as possible.

  • Crown falls off
Sometimes you may lose a crown because of decay or loose cementing material. If the underlying tooth starts to decay, the crown may fall of due to lack of support. Also, the cementing material may loosen due to wear and tear causing the crown to fall out.

In such a situation, call you dentist immediately, and he will guide you on how to take care of the affected tooth until you get to see him. Your dentist will rectify the situation by re-cementing the crown. This is just a temporary solution. The best solution is to design and develop a new crown, especially if the fall is serious.

  • Chipped crown
Over time crowns made of porcelain-fused to metal or all porcelain may break, crack or chip. In case of a small crack, the dentist will use a composite resin to repair it. This is just a temporary solution! Extensive crack, break or chip will require a new crown.

  • Loose crown
The crown usually becomes loose when the cement is washed away. In case of loose crown, you should call your dentist immediately. If the loose crown is left untreated, it can create bacteria entry which might cause the tooth underneath to decay.

  • Dark line
Having a dark line next to the gum line of the affected tooth is normal. This is a common case with porcelain-fused metal crown. The dark line is a show of the metal crown! Generally, this is not a problem. However, the dark line is unacceptable in the cosmetic dentistry world. For cosmetic purposes, the dentist can replace the porcelain-fused metal crown with all ceramic or all porcelain.

  • Allergic reaction
This is a rare case! Sometimes an allergic reaction to the metals used in making the crown may occur.

Final Verdict

A dental crown is required for a number of reasons, such as to restore fractured tooth, to cover dental implants, dental filling or discolored teeth, to protect weak teeth from breaking or cracking, and also to hold a dental bridge. Not only does this treatment restores the size, shape and strength of a tooth, but also enhances the tooth appearance.

There a number of things that determines the cost of crowns, such as type of dental crowns used, and your area of resident. For instance, gold crowns are more expensive than porcelain-fused metal crowns, and all porcelain crowns tend to be more expensive than gold crowns.

Nevertheless, a crowned tooth is not prone to dental diseases, such as tooth decay, gum disease and cavity. Thus, the crowned tooth will require special care. Good oral hygiene practices will be of great help! Such practices should include, regular brushing and flossing, use of sensitive teeth toothpaste, regular visit to the dentist and use antibacterial mouthwash to rinse the teeth at least once per day.