Dental Crowns – Types and Advantages
There are many factors that affect tooth and mouth health: genetics, hygiene, diet, and activity level. Occasionally, an act of god such as a lost ring in a meatloaf can also take its toll on your teeth. Luckily, dentists are able to fix a wide variety of issues stemming from just about any of these origins for the young and old alike through the use of dental crowns.
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are caps in the shape of a tooth that are placed over the existing one (or part of it) that needs to be restored. They can be used to cover anything visible above the gum line. Because of this, they are nicknamed “caps” as well.
Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, depending on the circumstances:
Metal – The crowns are usually used for molars since they are incredibly durable and have a dark appearance from the metal that is used, which isn’t desirable for front teeth.
Composite – These crowns blend with other teeth well and are less likely to chip, but they tend to wear down and stain faster than other materials.
Porcelain – This material looks the most natural and has a long shelf life for wear, but it is also brittle so it is rarely used for teeth towards the back of the mouth.
Porcelain bonded to metal – This combination creates a natural, resilient tooth cap. One drawback is that the metal might become visible if gum problems arise after the crown has been placed.
What are Dental Crowns used to Fix?
Crowns are one of the best tools in the dentist’s bag of tricks. They can be used to permanently or temporarily solve a wide range of dental issues for both adults and children. Some of the most common reasons for people to get them include:
- Cosmetic cover-ups
- Steadying dental bridges
- Covering dental implants
- Strengthen weak teeth
- Splint cracked teeth
- Repair old fillings
- In conjunction with a root canal
How long will the Crown last?
The life of a dental crown will differ depending on the type, location, and individual that it belongs to. A general estimate is about 10 years, however, with good oral hygiene a permanent crown can last much longer than that, well into old age until the next step becomes dentures.