Modern Dentistry: Crowns

What Is A Crown, and Why Would I Need One?

Tooth damage happens. It can happen naturally over time from poor eating or teeth grinding. Or it can stem from accidents like falling down or a sports related injury. When sever tooth damage occurs, it’s necessary to have a dentist apply a crown to replace or strengthen the damaged tooth. Sometimes, if a tooth is too damaged from a cavity, a crown will be necessary for a dentist to apply a filling. Crowns are a type of dental restoration which gives a tooth back its shape and durability. If you’ve suffered extensive damage to your teeth, a crown may be necessary.

What Are Crowns Made Of?

Crowns are primarily made of one of four materials, ceramic, porcelain-fused metals, gold alloy, or non-noble metals. Each material has its own advantages that should be explored and discussed with your dentist.

• Ceramic crowns are unique that they have different types of ceramic material to choose from such as, Leucite Reinforced, Alumina, or the newer Zirconia material. Ceramic crowns blend very well with the natural color of teeth and are usually recommended for front teeth for this reason.

• Porcelain-fused metals crowns are made by fusing metal to porcelain material in extreme heat. Mixing porcelain and metal is to increase the strength and durability the crown will provide the tooth. The porcelain allows color matching of the teeth while the metal provides the durability.

• Gold alloy is rarely made of pure gold. It can be composed of a few different materials like platinum, silver, or copper. Gold alloy is highly resistance to wear and does not cause irritability to the teeth or gums around it.

• Non-Noble Metals are crowns made of materials like copper, tin, or silver. Like gold alloy, they provide a strong base to support a tooth with more durability.

How Does A Dentist Apply A Crown?

Depending on the equipment available to your dentist, the length of the procedure to have a crown applied will vary. If your dentist has access to crown fabrication equipment, the process can be done in one visit and will take one to two hours. If your dentist does not have the equipment it will usually be separated into two visits. On the first visit, your dentist will prepare your tooth by shaping it, taking a mold of the tooth, and placing a temporary crown. The dentist will then send the crown mold to be fabricated. The next appointment, the dentist will apply the finished crown using dental cement to hold it in place.

Crowns are a major part of modern dentistry and provide patients with strong and durable crowns to repair any damage to teeth.