Dental crowns are a type of denture used to restore the shape, size, strength, and appearance of a damaged tooth. A crown, sometimes referred to as a “cap,” is a solid prosthetic structure that covers the entire damaged tooth above the gum line.
The use of a dental crown may be necessary in a variety of situations, such as to protect a weakened tooth from decay, restore an already decayed or badly damaged tooth, fix a bridge, cover a dental implant, or improve the appearance of a dysfunctional or aesthetically unacceptable tooth.
Dental crowns according to materials
Crowns can be made from a variety of materials including metal, porcelain, ceramic, or a combination of these. The choice of material depends on the patient’s specific needs and requirements such as aesthetic appearance, strength, durability and cost.
Metal-ceramic dental crown
A metal-ceramic crown is a type of dental crown that combines the advantages of metal and ceramic into a single prosthetic structure. It consists of a metal base that provides strength and durability and a ceramic surface that mimics the look and shine of natural teeth.
This type of crown is popular because of its durability and aesthetics. The metal base ensures a high level of resistance to pressure and wear, while the ceramic surface allows the colour and appearance of the crown to be customised to match the surrounding teeth.
All-ceramic dental crown
An all-ceramic crown is a type of dental crown that is made entirely of ceramic material or porcelain. This type of crown is known for its excellent aesthetic value because ceramics can effectively mimic the natural appearance of teeth, including color, shine, and luminosity.
Unlike metal-ceramic crowns, where the metal part is sometimes visible at the gum line, all-ceramic crowns provide a smooth, natural look with no visible metal parts. They are also a good solution for people with metal allergies.
All-ceramic crowns may be less durable than metal-ceramic crowns, but modern manufacturing techniques and materials have greatly improved their strength and durability.
A zirconia crown is a type of dental crown made of zirconia, a material that combines the aesthetic appearance of ceramic with high strength and durability. This material is biocompatible, which means it is safe for use in the body and has a low risk of allergic reactions.
Zirconia crowns are especially prized for their ability to mimic the natural look and feel of teeth while providing significant strength and durability. They are the ideal choice for patients looking for an aesthetically pleasing solution that is both durable and long-lasting.
Is it possible to use a crown on a dead tooth?
Yes, dental crowns are in fact often used on “dead” teeth. A dead tooth is a tooth whose nerve has been removed or has died as a result of trauma or deep decay. These teeth are often fragile as they lose blood supply and nutrients and can be more prone to cracking or decay.
A dental crown can be used to provide protection and support to a dead tooth, preventing further damage and restoring its function and aesthetic appearance. Before the crown is placed, the dead tooth is treated with endodontic treatment (root canal therapy) to remove any infections and ensure its stability.
How are dental crowns bonded?
The actual bonding of the dental crown is preceded by the preparation of the tooth by grinding. This is followed by the creation of an impression, which is sent to the laboratory for the production of the crown. During its fabrication we will place a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth.
We check the finished crown and if it fits properly and matches the colour of the other teeth, we glue it on using a special adhesive. The only thing left to do is to check that the crown fits and does not prevent a proper bite, and that’s it.
How long will a dental crown last?
The lifespan of a dental crown depends on various factors such as the material of the crown, the location in the mouth where the crown is placed, the consistency of the patient’s oral hygiene, and the patient’s dietary habits.
Generally, dental crowns can last approximately 5 to 15 years. But sometimes they can last even longer, up to 20 years or more, especially if you take very good care of them and see a dentist regularly.