A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a tooth-shaped crown that dentists place over a tooth. It can be used to cover the tooth, improve its appearance, restore its shape, size and strength and protect the tooth from infection. When a crown has been cemented into place, it covers up the visible parts of the tooth all the way down to the gum line.
Dental crown information
A dental crown has numerous benefits, some of which include:
- Protecting a weak tooth from breaking or holding together a cracked tooth
- Restoring a broken tooth or a worn down tooth
- Covering up a tooth with a large filling if there is not a lot of the tooth left
- Holding a dental bridge in place
- Cover a traumatized tooth
Dental crowns are made from different materials, the most common of which are:
These types of dental crowns are used temporarily to hold a tooth in place when the permanent dental crown is being made in a dental laboratory. It protects the tooth or filling temporarily until the permanent crown is ready.
The most common metals used to make dental crowns include alloys with a high amount of gold, platinum or base metal alloys. Due to the fact that they withstand biting and chewing forces well and last a long time without chipping or breaking, metal crowns are generally used to protect the molars in the back of the mouth.
These dental crowns can be color-matched to the adjacent teeth, making them appear like natural teeth. The fact that they can be colored to match the natural teeth allows dentists to use them on both the front and back teeth. However, they are known to chip or break off, which can lead to wear on the adjacent teeth, causing more problems down the line.
Like the porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, these crowns can be color-matched to the natural teeth, which make them look real. They are also the least expensive type of dental crown, which adds to their appeal. However, they are not very durable and are prone to fractures.
All-porcelain or all-ceramic crowns
This type of dental crown provides patients with the most natural looking replacements for their teeth which can be used on both back and front teeth. They are also very popular with patients who have metal allergies.
How long does it take to get a dental crown?
The number of trips to the dental office to get a dental crown depends on the type of technology used by the dentist. In some cases, the patient will have to make two trips to the dentist. The first trip is to get an impression of the teeth made and to get the tooth prepped for the dental crown. The dentist will call the patient in for a second visit when the permanent dental crown is ready to get it cemented into place.
If the dentist has a CEREC machine, the dental crown can be made and fitted in one trip, saving the patients some time and money.
A dental crown can be used to restore the appearance of your teeth and also protect your tooth from decay and infection. If you are considering getting dental crowns for any reason, have a conversation with your dentist to discuss what to expect before and after the procedure.
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