Restore your decayed teeth with crowns!
If you want a smile that’s your crowning glory, you may need a crown to cover a tooth to help restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. Crowns have become a restoration of choice when teeth have significantly broken down due to decay or trauma. Crowns cover most of the carefully prepared tooth to strengthen the remaining tooth structure. Alternatives to crowns are large fillings but crowns have the advantages of strength and longevity. Plus, the aesthetic qualities of crown materials are very close to natural teeth. Disadvantages include the cost of fabricating them in labs and they are more time consuming than a filling.
What are crowns for?
A crown can help strengthen a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that’s already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It’s also used to cover a dental implant.
How do they work?
A crown is used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.
Four types of crowns are available:
- Porcelain fused to Metal (PFM) is the most commonly used crown. PFM, or porcelian dental crowns, are lined by metal on the inside and shaped with tooth colored porcelain which is baked onto the metal inside, simulating the natural tooth in shape, shade and anatomy.
- Ceramic crowns are a popular aesthetic choice and their strength characteristics are comparable to the strength of porcelain. With the range of ceramics currently available, ceramic crowns can be used to fabricate crowns or bridges both in the front and back of the mouth. Their aesthetic qualities are the best in dentistry. Since ceramic crowns have no metal, these restorations are best suited for individuals with metal allergies or those who find the grey discoloration of a metal margin objectionable.
- Gold Alloy has been used in dentistry for over 100 years and crowns fabricated in gold are still the most long lasting crowns. Other than its objectionable color in the current aesthetic age, gold alloy is still most compatible in wear and other properties to the natural teeth. With good hygiene practices, good crowns usually last a lifetime and are a great choice for teeth in the back of the mouth.
- Resin Crowns are the least used in dentistry but can be used in a bite that is aggressive to prevent wear of the opposing teeth. Gold crowns wear through and porcelain wear outs the opposing teeth in a heavy bite. Resin crowns do wear and roughen over time.
Cost is not significantly different for the different material (except resin) and the choice is based on what is best suited for the mouth and patient preference. Regardless of the material choice, crowns do last a long time and are considered to be the most successful procedure in dentistry. Contact William Carlo DMD today for all your tooth crown needs in San Diego, CA!