|Dr. Alan Wishneff D.D.S.
Restorative Dentistry / Oral Health
December 14, 2016
A dental crown is a cap that is placed over a damaged tooth. The crown is shaped like the tooth it is going over. They are used to cover teeth in order to restore the shape, size, strength and appearance. The cap fully encases the entire portion of the tooth that is visible above the gum line. Crowns are cemented into place making them a permanent solution for many dental problems.
Dental crowns can be used to fix many different problems. The following are a few of the things that dental crowns can be useful for.
- They protect weak teeth from breaking. Due to decay and normal daily use, weak teeth can become breakable. Crowns will also be able to help hold parts of a cracked tooth together.
- Restore broken teeth or teeth that are severely worn down.
- Cover up and support teeth that have a large filling in them. Teeth that have a lot of filling in them normally don’t have a lot of actual tooth material left.
- Hold bridges in place.
- Cover-up a dental implant.
- Cover discolored and misshaped teeth.
- Make cosmetic modifications
Children might actually need a crown for their primary or baby teeth when:
- There is the need to save a tooth that has been damaged by decay that can’t support a filling.
- Protect teeth in children that are at a high risk of tooth decay, especially if a child has difficulty keeping up with proper daily oral hygiene.
- Decrease the frequency of sedation and general anesthesia for children who are unable because of age, behavior or medical history to fully cooperate with requirements or proper dental care.
Types of Dental Crowns
Crowns can be made out of many different materials. The type of material used for a crown depends on the need and cost.
- Stainless steel: These crowns are prefabricated. While they are used on permanent teeth, they are normally only a temporary measure. While a crown is being made out of another material, a stainless steel crown is used to protect the tooth or filling. This type of crown is commonly used on children to fit over their primary teeth. The crown fits over the whole tooth and protects it from further decay. When the primary tooth is ready to come out and make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out along with the tooth. Stainless steel crowns are good for children because they don’t require multiple dental visits and are cheaper than the custom fit ones.
- Metals: Includes gold alloy, other alloys (palladium) or a base-metal alloy (nickel or chromium). Less of the tooth structure needs to be removed for metal crowns compared to other types of crowns. The tooth wear to the surrounding teeth is also kept to a minimum. They withstand biting and chewing forces well and will most likely last the longest in terms of wear down. They also rarely chip or break. The main drawback for this crown is the color. The metallic color makes it stand out amongst the rest of the teeth.
- Porcelain Fused to Metal: These crowns can be colored to match the surrounding teeth, unlike metal ones. However, the opposing teeth wear down more compared to other types of crowns. And the porcelain part of the crown can chip or break off with time. While these crown look like the surrounding teeth, sometimes the metal underlying the porcelain can show through as a dark line. The crown is a good choice for front or back teeth.
- All-Resin: Are less expensive than other crowns, but they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures.
- All Ceramic or All Porcelain: These crowns provide the best natural color match for the surrounding teeth than any other crown type. They are a great choice for people who have a metal allergy. They are not as strong as the porcelain-fused-to–metal crowns and they also wear down the opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns do. The all-ceramic crowns are good for the front teeth.
- Temporary versus Permanent: Temporary crowns can be made in the dental office, while permanent crowns are made in a dental lab. The temporary crowns are made of acrylic or stainless steel. They can be used as a temporary restoration until a permanent crown is constructed in the lab.
For more information about this topic or any other dental topic, contact Dr.Wishneff at [email protected] or call (561) 488-3111. Dr. Alan Wishneff is a Boca Raton Dentist dedicated to bringing patients state-of-the-art dental care. As a cosmetic, family and restorative dentist, he helps patients enjoy a natural and healthy smile. He is trained in cosmetic dentistry, including porcelain veneers; advanced cosmetic bonding techniques; oral surgery; medical emergency procedures; advanced crown and bridge; advanced TMJ; implant dentistry; endodontics-root canals: utilization of most advanced dental materials. Dr, Wishneff and staff are dedicated to providing great smiles in Boca Raton for more than 30 years. After more than two decades of practicing dentistry in Boca Raton, Dr. Wishneff is more committed than ever to this community.