Dental Crowns: What Is It, Purpose, and Types

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Over time, your teeth can get damaged for multiple reasons. These reasons include injuries, tooth decay, or use over time. Due to modern medicine and technology, there are numerous solutions for restoring a damaged tooth. However, one of the oldest solutions is a dental crown.

But what is a dental crown? What is its purpose? Are there different types of dental crowns? Let’s explore these questions and more as we discuss one of the most critical aspects of our oral health– dental crowns.

What is a Dental Crown?

In dentistry terms, a crown is the surface of our teeth covered by enamel. A dental crowns is a dental procedure that covers a tooth with an artificial cap if it chips, breaks, or fractures.

Dental crowns are used to protect the tooth from any further damage and restore it to health. Crowns are also used to mend broken teeth, fill in the spaces of missing teeth, change the shape and size of a tooth, restore its strength, and improve its appearance.

When the crown is cemented fully into place, it covers the entire visible portion of the tooth that lies above the gum line. Commonly, a dental crown is placed after a dental implant procedure or a root canal.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

Crowns can be made from porcelain, gold, or metal- usually, one of these materials is used for the outer layer of the tooth and a different material for the inside.

The first use for crowns was to cover broken teeth and fill in gaps from missing teeth. This is still their primary use in modern times. Crowns are used to change the shape of teeth and prevent them from fracturing or having other problems. For example, if several teeth are uneven or have been damaged over time, crowns are an option to make them all even again.

Crowns also protect damaged teeth from infection and further damage by covering them up. Moreover, they are also utilized to cover and support teeth with large fillings. In addition, when someone suffers from severe tooth discoloration, tooth-colored crowns are used to hide the discoloration.

Dental crowns also improve your smile because they make your teeth look more uniform and complete.

Types of Dental Crown

There are three types of dental crowns. They are the following:

  1. The first type is known as full coverage. This dental crown covers the entire tooth, including the gum line.
  2. The second is called partial coverage. This type of dental crown, which only covers a part of the tooth, is typically used to cover molars and help protect them from getting injured.
  3. The last type of dental crown is called a cantilever. These are often used to cover teeth that damage one side or in just one area. A cantilever also protects a tooth with damage and strengthens it to withstand biting forces better.

What are dental crowns made of?

Permanent crowns can be made up of multiple different materials: These materials include:

  1. All Porcelain Crowns. The most popular material used to create crowns nowadays is porcelain. That is because porcelain or ceramic crowns look the most natural. In addition, it easily matches the surrounding teeth in size, shape, and color. Furthermore, they are biocompatible, which means there is no metal used. Hence they’re toxin-free.
  2. Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns. Another popular restorative material used to create dental crowns is still porcelain mixed with metal. When they are heated together, the porcelain chemically melds with the oxides in metal, resulting in a durable bond.

Since a metal structure supports it, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are significantly more robust than all-porcelain crowns. Since it’s still made with porcelain, it blends nicely with your natural teeth.

  1. Metal Crowns. There are varying types of metals that can create dental crowns, including gold, nickel, palladium, and chromium. Metal crowns do not easily chip or break, which is why they last for a long time. The main drawback of metal crowns is their color. However, many are embracing that beauty standard nowadays.

The Bottom Line

If you’re considering dental crowns, you likely have a tooth or teeth that are damaged or decayed. Having a dental crown is beneficial in multiple ways. This includes restoring your tooth appearance, fixing damaged teeth, enhancing oral hygiene, protecting the tooth, a simple procedure, cost-effective, and a quick recovery time.

However, there are also some downsides when getting a dental crown. First off, your natural tooth should be removed before putting in the dental crown. Second, it needs to be replaced someday. Third, improper-fitted crowns can loosen up and eventually fall out. Fourth, having damage or fracture is still possible. Lastly, there is a chance of increased tooth sensitivity after the placement.

Before considering getting a dental crown, always consult your dentist first because they know what’s best for you. Also, only get this procedure with a licensed professional to avoid unnecessary risks.

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