Restoring Your Smile with Dental Crowns: Why there isn’t just one answer anymore
Dental crowns are restorative caps that completely surround and cover a tooth or dental implant. When a tooth becomes badly damaged or deteriorated, and a simple filling will not ensure its stability, your dentist can place a dental crown over the tooth to protect it. Some types of crowns closely resemble natural teeth, so they can be used for cosmetic applications as well as standard dental restoration. In the past, the only type of dental crown available was one that required the entire tooth to be shaved down and then completely covered by the crown but with modern techniques, we can rehabilitate the tooth a number of different ways that require much less tooth reduction and are much more comfortable and esthetic like inlays, onlays, three-quarter crowns and veneers.
What Problems Can Dental Crowns Correct?
- Broken, cracked, deteriorated or worn teeth
- Missing teeth in bridgework
- Minor gaps or misalignment
- Discoloration or poorly shaped teeth
- Appearance and stability after root canal treatments Types of Dental Crowns
- Porcelain or ceramic crowns look like natural teeth. Because they do not contain metal, there will never be a grey line visible at the gum line as with other types of crowns. Further, all ceramic crowns cannot induce an allergic reaction like their metal based counterparts. Lastly, they are bonded and not glued to the tooth. This greatly reduces the chances of them ever coming off.
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns closely resemble natural tooth color and appearance but not as well as ceramic crowns. These crowns may cause wear on surrounding teeth. They also can cause allergic reactions and display metal at their margins but these were the standard of care for many years but have since been deemed obsolete.
- Stainless steel crowns are often used as caps for primary teeth in children or as temporary crowns to protect a tooth while a permanent crown is being made.
- Metal crowns are made from substances such as gold, platinum, palladium, nickel, chrome or beryllium alloys. Breaking and chipping of metal crowns is rare. Their main disadvantage is their unnatural appearance and the possibility of galvanism which is a reaction that dissimilar metals can have when they touch in the mouth.
- Resin crowns are inexpensive, but they show wear easily and often fracture or break and are strictly temporary.
- Acrylic crowns are generally temporary caps designed to protect teeth while a permanent crown is being produced.How Many Dental Appointments Does a Crown Placement Require?
In traditional dentistry, placing a crown required two visits. The first was to prepare the tooth by removing decay and damaged areas. After prepping the tooth, the dentist will make an impression of it and send the results to a lab, so they can create a permanent crown. A temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth until the permanent crown is ready. During the second visit, the dentist places the permanent crown and secures it with dental cement.
What Are Single Visit Dental Crowns?
At Stanton Smiles we can make and place a permanent crown in one appointment. Single visit dental crowns require the use of advanced digital scanning technology. The dentist makes a precise virtual impression of your tooth, and an on-site machine creates the crown while you wait. Unlike messy traditional impressions, digital scanning is fast and clean. This dental crown option is convenient for those with a busy schedule. Most importantly, the quality of the final product is vastly superior to crowns made via the traditional method. They fit better, are stronger and more durable and much more esthetic. Why don’t all dentists use this technology? The technology is very difficult to learn but Dr. Stanton has been using this technology for so long, he is an instructor at several institutions including Nova southeastern dental school and the prestigious Scottsdale center for Dentistry.
How to Care for Your New Dental Crown
Regular brushing and flossing will help to preserve your crown’s integrity. Be sure to visit your dentist regularly to detect any problems before they require invasive treatment. With proper care, your new crown should last for years or even decades.