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What are dental crowns ?
A dental crown, also known as a tooth crown or dental cap, is an artificial restoration used to cover a damaged or weak natural tooth. Dental crowns can strengthen weak teeth while improving their appearance. They can also be used to hold bridges and dentures firmly in place.
Dental crowns are a treatment method used for damaged, decayed, crooked, or broken teeth. They are usually applied to give the teeth a natural, properly aligned, and more durable shape. Hollywood smile, smile makeover, and full mouth restoration procedures can also be done using crowns and veneers.
The quality, durability, and guarantee of crowns are directly proportional to patient satisfaction. Porcelain or zirconia crowns are typically applied to teeth with excessive substance loss, teeth treated with canal treatment, or in cases of tooth deficiency. Porcelain or zirconia dental bridges are alternative treatment options. Dental crowns do not harm teeth and, on the contrary, can prolong their life. For aesthetic reasons, dental crowns are applied according to the wishes and expectations of the patient.
You may be an ideal candidate for a tooth crown if you have a broken, weak, decayed, or damaged tooth and want to strengthen it, if you have problems with your bridge or denture and want to keep them in place, or if you have a discolored filling and want to improve its color for cosmetic reasons.
When deciding which material is best for a dental crown in a treatment, it is important to know the specifications of each type, as they are made of different materials and have different characteristics.
Ceramic Crowns (All Porcelain)
Ceramic Crowns (All Porcelain)
All-porcelain crowns are probably the most common and widely used type of dental crown. They are readily available, have a good lifespan, and are not overly expensive. They are also extremely natural-looking and translucent, which makes them one of the most requested types of dental crowns.
If you’re looking for the strongest dental crown material, porcelain is not the best choice, although it is quite strong. If used in opposing teeth, such as in the case of grinding, there is a risk of greater wear. Most all-ceramic crowns are made of porcelain. Nowadays, all-porcelain dental crowns are one of the most popular types, especially among patients who have aesthetic priorities and are looking for something that gives their front teeth a beautiful, yet natural look.
All-porcelain crowns are great for restoring the structure of a damaged tooth. In particular, in cases of root canal treatment, porcelain crowns make it easier to rebuild the tooth’s lost structure. In cases of misshapen or broken teeth, porcelain crowns can instantly transform them. Porcelain has high resistance to temperature changes, reducing the possibility of further temperature sensitivity.
However, whether to choose all-ceramic crowns or not depends on your situation and your dentist’s recommendation. The fact that they are entirely made of porcelain has some advantages, such as:
- Long-lasting (can last for up to 15-20 years with proper dental care)
- Biocompatible (no need to worry about allergies)
- Better fit compared to other materials such as metals
- Not high maintenance, so you don’t need to make frequent dental visits.
Zirconia crowns have become increasingly popular in recent years. Several studies have shown that zirconia crowns have a strength of 900-1200 MPa and a fracture resistance strength of 9-10 mPa, making them much more durable than other materials. With proper oral hygiene, they can last up to 25 to 30 years.
Traditional zirconia crowns have an opaque appearance, which can make them look less natural. As a result, they are typically recommended for posterior teeth, where strength is more important than aesthetics. However, they are an excellent choice if you want a long-lasting crown that requires minimal maintenance.
One of the major benefits of zirconia crowns is that they require less removal of your natural tooth compared to other types of crowns, as long as the underlying tooth is healthy. This helps to preserve your overall dental health. Additionally, due to their exceptional strength, they are highly effective when placed on posterior teeth.
Other advantages of zirconia crowns include being the strongest among dental crowns, highly shock-resistant, stain-resistant, temperature-resistant, biocompatible, and easy to modify.
As one of the latest advancements in dental crowns, E-max crowns are rapidly gaining popularity in the dental industry. They are considered one of the most reliable CAD/CAM (digitally designed) crown materials available today.
E-max crowns are made of lithium disilicate, a glass-ceramic material that is molded into aesthetically pleasing dental crowns. According to studies, E-max crowns offer a fractural strength of 500-530 when bonded. They are an excellent alternative to PFM crowns because they offer sufficient strength, high esthetics, and can be placed in a single visit.
E-max crowns are renowned for their aesthetic qualities, including their translucency. Made from all-glass ceramics, they have a refined and natural appearance that seamlessly blends in with your natural teeth. Moreover, the CAD/CAM technology used to create E-max crowns ensures a more accurate shape and size, providing superior protection against further damage.
Although E-max crowns offer good fractural strength, they are more suitable for anterior teeth due to their superior esthetics. For posterior teeth, zirconia crowns are generally preferred due to their relatively higher fractural strength.
- Superior esthetics
- Accurate design
- Good fractural strength
- Natural appearance
What to expect
Prior to the dental crown treatment, you will be given preoperative instructions. During your first visit, your dentist will examine and prepare the tooth that will receive the crown, and take x-rays of the tooth and the surrounding bone. If necessary, your dentist may perform a root canal treatment before the dental crown procedure. You may be required to maintain good oral hygiene before the surgery, and inform your dentist about your medical history. Additionally, you may need to avoid alcohol and certain medications before your dental crown treatment.
Frequently asked questions
There are several reasons to choose to get a dental crown. If you have severe tooth decay, a critically damaged filling, weak teeth that need protection, or if you have implants that need to be covered, improperly shaped, or discolored teeth, you may consider getting a dental crown.
Dental crowns are often used for dental bridges, which are a method of filling the space caused by one or more missing teeth by getting support from the adjacent teeth. A dental bridge consists of two or more dental crowns that are attached to the adjacent teeth to bridge the gap caused by the missing teeth.
No. Like other dental procedures, local anesthesia is applied during the dental crown procedure, so you will feel no pain during the procedure.
A dental crown procedure typically consists of at least two appointments. The length of the procedure depends on the condition of your mouth and whether you need dental bridges. In your first appointment, your dentist will check your mouth and perform a deep clean to remove the decayed parts and prepare your mouth for the crown. After the preparation, a temporary crown will be placed on the tooth until the permanent crown is ready to be placed in the second appointment.
No. After measuring the size of your teeth in your first appointment, your dentist will provide you with a temporary crown until your permanent dental crown is ready to be placed.
Dental crowns can last between 5 and 15 years, depending on how well you take care of them, your diet, and personal habits. Regular dental checkups and cleanings can also help prolong the lifespan of the dental crowns.