From time to time, all of us need to make a visit to the dentist and in some cases, we may have to have some work done. Most of us are familiar with hearing the “bad news” and realizing that we have to have something done to our teeth.
Fortunately, there are options available that can help us to get beyond the problem and even to get our smile back again. One of those options is a dental crown and there are actually a few different types available.
A dental crown is actually a cap and it fits over the top of an existing tooth. It completely covers the tooth that may have been damaged or perhaps even partially destroyed in order to improve the look and to bring it back to its original strength, size and appearance. Once a crown is put into place and cemented in the area, the entire tooth is going to be covered, including some of the tooth that is below the gum line.
Crowns may be needed for a wide variety of reasons and depending upon the reason, a different type of dental crown may be considered. As was mentioned, it may be to cover a tooth that is damaged or destroyed but it can also be for holding a dental bridge, for protecting the tooth that has become weak or to cover over a dental implant. Some people also have crowns put in place as a cosmetic procedure.
There are a few basic types of crowns and understanding a little bit more about them can help you to make the decision as to which is right for you. Of course, your dentist will also be in on the decision-making process.
Porcelain and metal – One of the interesting things about dental crowns is the fact that they can be made to look like your natural teeth, including matching the teeth that are next to the area. A porcelain crown that is fused to metal may be an option that is considered, although it can be a bit damaging to the teeth that are nearby. Some people have also complained about the porcelain breaking off or chipping but if you’re looking for an option that looks like your normal teeth, this is one to consider.
Metal crowns – These are not made to look like your natural teeth but rather, they are platinum, gold or some other metal color. Many people consider these for the molars because they are not easy to see but when they are in place, they provide a very strong surface for chewing.
Stainless Steel – These are a prefabricated option that is not typically used permanently. If you are having another crown made, such as a porcelain crown, the stainless steel option may be put into place in order to protect the tooth from further decay. It is a cost-effective option, however, because they can often be put into place on the initial visit.
Ceramic – There are dental crowns that are completely ceramic and they tend to be rather natural looking when they are put into place. Ceramic crowns are an excellent choice for people who are allergic to certain types of metal.
Resin – This is a rather inexpensive choice in comparison to other types of crowns but they do wear down and tend to fracture more frequently.
Temporary or Permanent – One other type that needs to be considered is if the crown is permanent or temporary. A temporary crown will typically be put in place on the initial visit but it will be removed whenever the permanent crown is back from being made at the laboratory.