More than 40% of Americans have a dental crown. And with an aging population, the percentage of people with a crown will only increase. The dentists at Josey Lane work to stay current on trends in dental crowns to ensure our patients are offered the best range of options. If you are in need of a dental crown, keep reading to learn more about the process and, specifically, the materials used to make these tooth replacements. If you do have questions about your particular case, give our Carrollton office a call today!
What is a dental crown?
A crown is a cover or “cap” put on a tooth. The crown restores the tooth to its normal shape, size and function. A crown makes the tooth stronger and improves the way it looks. Crowns are often recommended to protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together a cracked tooth, to restore an already–broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down, or to cover severely discolored teeth for cosmetic purposes.
Because a crown can help restore your bite, this helps minimize other symptoms like jaw and head pain or trouble eating. And since the mouth is linked to so many other systems in our bodies, a crown can actually positively impact whole heath.
Crowns are made by taking an impression of the tooth or teeth they’ll be covering. Before this impression is created, your dentist must first reduce your tooth’s size so that the crown fits properly on top. Your dentist might also place a temporary crown while the permanent one is being made.
What is it like to get a crown?
Proper preparation for a crown is important to ensure your smile and teeth appear natural when you’re done.
First, your dentist will remove a thin layer of enamel from the front of the tooth, then take an impression of the tooth being replaced. Sometimes, it can take a couple of weeks for the crown to be completed. In these cases, your dentist might fit you with a temporary crown to protect your teeth after the enamel was removed.
When the crown is ready, your dentist will check them to ensure the color, shape and size are correct. Dentists have the ability to fine–tune crowns after they arrive to ensure they blend in perfectly. After prepping your teeth, the crown is bonded to your teeth with a dental cement. The cement is allowed to harden with a curing light which sets the glue in a matter of minutes. While the process can take several weeks due to making the crown, putting the crown on to your teeth can be done in a couple of hours or less.
Types of crowns
When it comes to the materials used to make them, there are many different types of dental crowns. Traditionally, crowns are made from porcelain since they not only replicate the original tooth in function, but can be designed to look like the original or even better. However, just like natural teeth, they can become chipped or discolored.
Stainless steel crowns, on the other hand, are used as an alternative to silver and tooth-colored crowns. These strong metal caps cover the entire tooth and are exceptionally hard to damage. They have a smooth polished surface which makes them easy to clean, and most last four years or more. This type of crown is used most commonly in children due in part to their durability. In addition to their sturdiness, stainless steel crowns cost less to place than most other types of crowns, and have many of the perks of more expensive options. While they are not used as commonly on adults, talk to your dentist to determine if they are an option for you!