A dental crown restores broken down teeth to having form and function again. Teeth become damaged due to decay or fracture. They may have old fillings in them, or a dentist may have drilled them during root canal treatment. Regardless of the cause of tooth damage, dental crowns will cap the tooth so that it is functional again. In fact, many patients refer to a dental crown as a tooth cap!
What types of dental crown exist?
The material of construction is what gives the type of crown its name. Different types of dental crowns exist:
Ceramic Dental Crown
The most commonly used crown at the moment. Constructed entirely out of hard wearing ceramic, it is strong and aesthetic. The fact that it is made from ceramic means that it can be bonded chemically to the tooth, thus, increasing retention. This type of crown is ideally suited to teeth at the front of the mouth.
Gold Dental Crown
A very traditional type of dental crown. Very well adapted to use at the back of the mouth as it is similar in construction to tooth structure. This is an excellent option, but unfortunately, these days many patients do not like to have gold in their mouth
Porcelain Fused To Metal Dental Crown
An older type of crown, but still occasionally used. This crown consists of a metal core with a ceramic overlay. Very useful in masking badly discoloured teeth.
Implant Retained Dental Crown
This is a special type of crown that fits on a dental implant fixture. This type of crown uses a screw to hold it into position.
How does a dental crown get placed on a tooth?
The procedure requires two separate visits. The tooth requires shaping to make space for the crown. An impression is taken and sent to a dental laboratory so that the dental technician can construct the crown. The dentist is then able to securely cement the crown to the tooth. The crown will function just like a natural tooth!
What problems can occur with a dental crown?
As with all dental treatments, problems can occur. Properly cared for, we would expect a tooth crown to last for a significant amount of time.
The tooth cap could come off or fracture, thus requiring replacement. The most serious issues occur when the tooth underlying the crown becomes damaged. If the nerve in the tooth dies, the tooth will need root canal treatment. If the tooth underneath becomes decayed, then the crown will need removal and the decay treating. In this case, the crown will need replacement. For these reasons, it is important to have your teeth and crowns regularly checked by your dentist. Your dentist will carry out dental x-rays to check the health of the roots of the teeth underneath the crown.