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What Is a Dental Crown & How Can It Improve Your Smile?

What Is a Dental Crown & How Can It Improve Your Smile?

Are you worried that that tiny chipped tooth might ruin your smile? Have you ever wondered what could be done about your discolored or stained choppers?

If your answer to these questions is a resounding “yes,” then you might need some cosmetic dentistry help.

When your concern is about maintaining your pearly whites, dental crowns are the best solution for you. This article discusses what a crown is and how it can help boost the quality of your smile.

What Is a Dental Crown?

Like teeth whitening, veneers, implants, gum reshaping, and bridges, crowns serve to restore the appearance of the teeth.

Crowns come in the form of tooth-shaped “caps” that are placed over the damaged tooth to improve its shape, size, and overall appearance. To make sure they are installed securely, crowns are cemented onto the natural tooth, effectively encasing it, with the visible portion running from the top of the tooth down to just above the gum line.

On top of improving the tooth’s appearance, dental crowns also serve to bolster the strength of compromised tooth. Beyond looking like natural teeth, these hollow restorations serve as support to the teeth without the roots.

Before a crown can be placed, the tooth needs to be filed down into a smaller size. This allows the hollow cover to fit over it.

What Are Dental Crowns Made Of?

Most dental crowns are made of ceramic, resin, porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and metal. Below is a short description of each type of material and where it is ideally used in the teeth.

1. Ceramic: Pressed Ceramic and All-Ceramic

Ceramic crowns come in two different forms: pressed ceramic and all-ceramic.

All-ceramic dental crowns are the best match for natural teeth. Because of this, they are most suited for use in the front teeth. They also are ideal for people with metal allergies.

However, there are a couple of disadvantages to this dental crown material. For one, it’s not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Plus, it can also cause more wear to the teeth opposite the crowned one.

Pressed ceramic, on the other hand, is made with a hard inner core. This makes it last longer compared to all-ceramic crowns.

2. Resin

Resin is the most affordable dental crown material there is. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long and may need to be replaced after a shorter period compared to porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.

3. All-Porcelain

Like ceramic crowns, porcelain crowns are great at matching the color of natural teeth. They also have a similar disadvantage when it comes to the teeth opposite the one with a crown.

4. Porcelain-fused-to-metal

This type of dental crown also matches the color of the teeth beside them and may look more natural compared to pure metal crowns. This makes it a good choice for both the front and back teeth.

5. Metal

Examples of metals that can be used to make a dental crown include nickel, chromium, palladium, and gold. The best thing about metal crowns is that they rarely break or chip and can withstand wear for longer. Plus, they require only a small portion of the tooth to be removed when installed.

However, the main disadvantage of this crown material is its color. Since it sports a dark color (depending on the type of metal used), it is best used to restore out-of-sight teeth like the molars.

When to Use a Dental Crown

The use of a dental crown may be recommended for different situations. From chipped or cracked teeth to post-root canal teeth restoration, crowns serve many purposes.

Below are the common cases that merit the use of dental crowns:

1. Damaged Teeth Repair

Whether there are cracks, chips, or damage due to decay, dental crowns can help restore the function and appearance of damaged teeth.

2. Post-Root Canal Restoration

Dental crowns can also be used to support teeth that were subjected to endodontic treatment or root canal therapy.

The procedure involves cutting off the blood supply and the nerve. Once the tooth is devitalized, the space that previously held the blood vessels and nerves are filled to avoid bacterial infection.

Since the therapy results in a considerably more brittle and weaker tooth, it is more likely to fracture. With a dental crown placed over it, the tooth will be strengthened and protected from breakage.

3. Cracked Teeth Strengthening

Cracks in the tooth, no matter how small and insignificant they may seem, can increase the risk of a fracture. To make sure your tooth doesn’t break completely, it is recommended that a dental crown be installed to reinforce and strengthen it.

4. Dental Bridge Attachment

Dental crowns are also used to stabilize and support dental prosthetics like bridges. They provide two anchor points to hold the bridge firmly in place.

Crown Your Teeth

To make an informed decision regarding when to have a dental crown installed, be sure to consult licensed dentists first. You can always reach out to our experts at NOA Dental for cosmetic dental advice.