Dental crowns are a common and highly effective restorative treatment. However, there are a few things you should know before getting one.
Metal crowns are the strongest type of crown available and withstand biting and chewing forces well. They rarely chip and require the least amount of natural tooth structure to be removed.
Dental crowns are a natural looking solution to damaged teeth. They cover misshapen, small or crooked teeth and can also be used to restore a root canal treated tooth. Crowns look very lifelike because we use porcelains that mimic the luster and translucency of enamel.
We have many different types of porcelains that we can use for dental crowns and each has a slightly different optical quality and shade. For example, feldspathic porcelains (which are traditional crowns) are luminous and appear very natural because they transmit the underlying tooth color. Empress crowns, on the other hand, are more translucent and look more like glass than porcelain. We also have a range of other ceramic crowns, such as the extremely strong BruxZir, which are colour matched to your existing teeth and look very realistic.
Our molars can withstand 247 to 292 pounds of force, which shows how strong they are. However, they’re not indestructible, and if a tooth is severely damaged by trauma or decay it can become loose or even break. A dental crown covers and protects weakened or broken teeth, and it can be paired with a dental implant or hold a bridge in place.
Depending on your dentist’s choice of materials, cost and procedures, the strength of a crown can vary. For example, base metal crowns are much stronger than porcelain crowns but they aren’t as translucent.
Crowns are designed to withstand a lot of pressure, particularly biting and chewing forces. The natural teeth are capable of this naturally but it is a good idea to protect them with a crown when there are signs of wear and tear.
To prepare a tooth for a crown, the natural tooth and gum tissue are numbed, then the tooth is filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. How much of the natural tooth is removed depends on the type of crown used, for example all-metal crowns are the thinnest available and require less filing than PFM (porcelain fused to metal) crowns. The impressions that are taken to create the custom crown are then made using either a physical mould or digital scan. This is sent off to the laboratory where your new crown is crafted.
When properly cared for dental crowns can last for decades. However, the exact longevity of your restoration will depend on the material that is used.
Before a crown can be placed the natural tooth and gums will need to be prepped. This usually involves removing decay, a root canal or both. The tooth will then be filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown to sit.
Metal crowns tend to be the most durable and can withstand chewing and biting forces. They also don’t chip or break as easily as other types of crowns and require less of the natural tooth to be removed. They are typically recommended for molars located in the back of the mouth.
Porcelain ceramic crowns are the second most durable and blend in with your teeth naturally. These are often recommended for teeth in the smile zone of your mouth. However they are not as strong as metallic crowns and can become chipped or broken under intense bite pressure. For this reason they are not recommended for molars or bicuspids.
Many dental problems cannot be treated with a simple filling, and even less severe cavities may require a crown. A crown is placed on the top of the damaged tooth, protecting it from further decay and enhancing its appearance.
There are several types of dental crowns available, and the best choice for you will depend on your needs. Porcelain crowns look the most like natural teeth, while metal-alloy crowns are stronger and more durable. Porcelain-metal fusion crowns combine the strength of a metal base with a porcelain surface. Resin crowns are more inexpensive but may not be as long-lasting as other types of crowns.
The cost of a dental crown will vary depending on the type of crown you choose, and whether or not your insurance covers it. Most dental insurance plans cover up to 50% of major restorative care, including dental crowns. If you have a preferred provider organization (PPO) dental plan, you will typically only be required to pay a coinsurance amount, while the insurance will pay for the rest of the treatment.
Unlike traditional crowns that feature dark metal, aesthetic crowns are made from completely tooth-colored materials. This allows them to blend in seamlessly with your natural teeth for a healthy, radiant smile.
Aesthetic crowns also offer greater durability than their metal-based counterparts. They can withstand greater force from chewing and biting without breaking or wearing down as easily.
Porcelain and zirconia are currently the most popular dental crown materials. Zirconia is a ceramic material that is translucent, similar to your own natural teeth. It can be used to strengthen porcelain during the bonding process, meaning that your crowns are less likely to chip in the future.
The esthetic benefits of porcelain and zirconia extend beyond just the strength of your crowns. They also look very natural, particularly when bonded to the front of your teeth. This is because they are able to mimic the light handling characteristics of your own tooth structure, providing a lustrous appearance that’s unsurpassed by any other dental restoration. This makes them the preferred choice for patients who want to maintain their beauty.