Having a broken, misshapen or severely discoloured tooth might give you something to frown about, but a visit to your dental clinic can give you the secret to getting your smile back – dental crowns! Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps used to cover and repair the strength and appearance of a tooth. They are also used to restore spaces created by dental implants and bridges. When it comes to dental crowns, there are actually a few types to choose from. While every situation should be assessed individually by a dental clinic, here’s a quick guide to some of the most common options:
Aesthetically speaking, porcelain and ceramic dental crowns are the best option. Ceramic crowns can be made using a translucent porcelain, which helps them better mimic the characteristics of natural tooth enamel. Ceramic dental crowns are also fabricated to match not only the shape but also the colour of surrounding teeth. This makes them a good option for front teeth. The only disadvantage to ceramic crowns is that they are not as strong as metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal options.
Metal crowns are usually made out of alloys, a mix of metals, instead of pure metals because the physical properties of alloys are superior. The most common type of metal crown is gold alloy, but silver alloys can also be used. In terms of strength and longevity, metal dental crowns supersede any other option. The main disadvantage to them is their metallic and unnatural colour. But for back teeth where aesthetics isn’t the primary objective, metal dental crowns are a good option.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns combine the features of both ceramic and metal crowns. The crown itself is made of metal – making it a stronger option than ceramic crowns; and porcelain is fused to the outside – making it more aesthetically pleasing than metal crowns. However, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns will cause more wearing to opposing teeth than metal crowns and the underlying metal will not look as natural as ceramic crowns. This type of crown is suitable for both front and back teeth.
In some cases, a dental clinic might suggest having a temporary crown created. Although an impermanent solution, temporary crowns can help restore or fill in spaces while the permanent crown is being made. Some dental clinics may be able to fabricate temporary crowns in house, most created in a laboratory. In some cases a temporary crown will be used until the mouth and gums have healed enough to support a permanent crown. Temporary dental crowns are typically made out of acrylic, so they are lighter and less expensive than permanent solutions.
If you’ve been feeling uncomfortable with the way your smile looks, a visit to a dental clinic can help you get your confidence back. For more information on how you can benefit from dental crowns, ask your dental clinic for a free consultation today.