What Is A Dental Crown?
Also called caps, a dental crown is a curative treatment used to improve shape, appearance, and strength of a tooth. They are also used as the last regeneration for dental implants, acting as a replacement for the artificial tooth. The material recommended for dental crowns is porcelain because since it is similar to natural teeth in terms of color and texture, it offers a more normal looking restoration.
When are dental crowns used?
When a damaged tooth’s strength and appearance cannot be restored using more conservative methods, dental crowns will typically be used. The procedure you are qualified for is determined based on your current dental health, practical and aesthetic benefits.
Below are some of the reasons why dental crowns are used in teeth restoration:
• To recover the strength and appearance of a tooth previously treated for a root canal.
• To conceal a deformed tooth
• To conceal a dental implant
• To restore a fractured or broken tooth
• To hold a dental link in place.
Dental crown procedure
Before a dental crown is chosen as a tooth restoration procedure, a patient’s dental health is thoroughly assessed by a dentist to determine whether they would gain from a less invasive restoration process. Once a dental crown has been decided upon as the best solution, the first step is tooth preparation in order to receive the crown, and the next step is placing the crown.
Traditional dental crown procedure
Typically the dentist first takes x-rays of the receiving tooth to examine its integrity, roots and surrounding bone structure. If it has widespread decay and the tooth’s pulp is diseased, the next step is a root canal treatment before placement of the crown.
After the x-ray is taken and analyzed, the tooth structure is condensed to make room for the crown. The amount of the structure reduced depends on the degree of the damage and the material about to be used, for example, porcelain or gold.
After reshaping of the tooth has been completed, an imprint of it is made to make sure it’s restoration is practical and to guarantee a proper bite. The imprint is then sent to a lab and harmonized with the shade of the current teeth.
An impermanent crown is positioned until the permanent on is sent back from the lab. The temporary one is then detached so that a permanent crown can be put into place. The new replacement is checked for fit, color, and appropriate dental health.
Single visit dental crowns
Thanks to modern technology, we now have single visit dental crowns. Dentists are now able to make new porcelain crowns quickly and bond them to the damaged tooth in one appointment by using a computer and milling unit called CEREC.
Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) mechanism uses digital impressions equipped with an infrared camera and which cuts out the time it takes for the lab to manually create the tooth from impressions.
Dentists are able to design the dental crowns on their computers and once they are satisfied with it, they can create the crown right in the office from a special block of porcelain.
The cost of dental crowns varies depending on dentist expertise and location, and crown type. Gold crowns are generally cheaper as compared to porcelain ones, but if a big percentage of gold is used the crown becomes more expensive.
On average, dental crowns last from 10 to 20 years, but are still susceptible to fractures and cavities. So regular maintenance and care is required.