A dental crown is similar to a tooth-shaped cap that we permanently place over a tooth, usually for one or two reasons. The two reasons are either to protect and reinforce a weak tooth or to improve its appearance by changing its shape, color, or size.
After being cemented into place, the crown will totally encase the visible portion of the tooth above the gum line, thus becoming the new outer surface of the tooth. Consisting of resin, ceramic, gold, or an alloy of different metals, dental crowns can restore a broken tooth or one that is severely worn down. They can also effectively protect one that is weak, decayed, or cracked. They may also hold a bridge in place or improve the appearance of discolored teeth. Different types of dental crowns can also treat damaged or decaying baby teeth.
Different Types of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are either temporary or permanent. Permanent crowns consist of several different materials, such as stainless steel, gold or another alloy, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, or ceramic.
Whereas we have a dental lab construct the permanent crowns, temporary crowns, usually consist of acrylic or stainless steel. We can create the temporary crowns in our office. These crowns act as a transitory restoration until a dental lab completes the permanent crown.
When you need dental crowns, it is always a good idea to start your search knowing what types dental crowns are available.
Since metal withstands wear and tear better than most other materials used to make crowns, they rarely chip or break and can last longer. The different types of metals used in crowns include gold alloy, palladium, nickel, and chromium. Additionally, since the metal is thin, less tooth structure is required to be removed. However, because of the metallic shine, many, if not most, people opt for metal crowns only for their molars that are out of sight.
Stainless steel crowns are mainly a temporary measure. In other words, a stainless steel crown protects the tooth for a short time while a dental lab is making the permanent crown. Stainless steel crowns are often fitted over a baby tooth to protect it from further decay for several reasons. They do not require multiple dental visits to place and are more cost-effective than custom-made crowns. Also, when primary teeth come out to make room for permanent ones, stainless steel crowns come out naturally with them.
Porcelain & Metal
Porcelain, fused to metal, can be color-matched to the adjacent teeth. Next to ceramic, porcelain crowns look most like natural teeth. In some cases, especially if gums recede, the metal on the underside of the porcelain dental crown can show through at the gum line. Another drawback of this type of crown is that the porcelain portion can chip or break, making these dental crowns a good choice for back teeth.
Resin dental crowns are less expensive than other crown types. However, they slowly wear down over time and are more prone to chips and cracks than the porcelain and metal combination crowns.
Ceramic & Porcelain
Ceramic and porcelain dental crowns are not as strong as porcelain and metal crown combinations and can wear down opposing teeth more than all-metal or resin crowns. On the other hand, they have a more natural appearance, and the color can be closely matched to adjacent teeth, making them a good choice for front teeth. Porcelain and ceramic crowns are obviously more suitable for people with metal allergies.
To discuss these dental crown options in further detail, call Dr. Mauro & Associates PC at (732) 839-0484 to schedule an appointment.
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