Dental crowns are caps placed on top of damaged teeth. Crowns are used to protect, cover and restore the shape of your teeth when fillings don’t solve the problem. Dental crowns can be made out of metals, porcelain, resin and ceramics. They typically don’t require special care over time other than regular good oral hygiene.
What are Dental Crowns?
Over time, your teeth can get damaged. This can happen for a variety of reasons, like tooth decay, injuries or just use over time. Your teeth can lose their shape or size. Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” that can be placed over your tooth. Think of it like a snug hat for your tooth. The crown restores the tooth’s shape, size, strength and appearance.
The dental crown is cemented into place on your tooth and it covers the visible portion of the tooth.
Why would I need a Dental Crown?
You may need a dental crown for several reasons, including:
- Protecting a weak tooth from breaking or to keep the weak tooth together if parts of it are cracked.
- Restoring a broken tooth or a severely worn down tooth.
- Covering and supporting a tooth with a large filling and not much tooth remaining.
- Holding a dental bridge in place.
- Covering misshapen or severely discolored teeth.
- Covering a dental implant.
- Covering a tooth that’s been treated with a root canal.
- To align your bite.
- To achieve a more beautiful smile by leveling the size, shape, and color of your teeth.
What Type of Dental Crown Should I Choose?
When you need a crown, you immediately start thinking about the types of dental crowns and cost. This is because today there are many different types of crowns that vary depending on materials, cost, procedures, and patients’ needs.
The 5 main types of crowns used in dentistry include:
- Full Metal Crowns: Since ancient times, crowns have been made from yellow gold and is still the case today in private dentistry although costs have meant that our dentists are unable to offer this anymore. Other modern bio-compatible alloys are now used in its place (for example; Nickel, Chromium and Palladium). Compared with other crown types, less tooth structure needs to be removed with metal crowns and once in place can withstand biting and chewing forces well for many years. Modern full metal crowns are nowadays used for people who have little space when biting together or grind their teeth and are generally the cheapest option. Metal crowns are a good choice for out of sight back teeth, if a porcelain option is not suitable.
- Porcelain Fused to Metal: Porcelain crowns have a thin metal sub-structure to give them strength and can be colour matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the metal crowns). These crowns are the mainstay of modern dentistry and through different layers of porcelain, can be made in several grades of aesthetic quality. To all-ceramic crowns, porcelain crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
- Pressed Crown-All Ceramic Crown: All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural colour match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies or cosmetically would like to change their tooth/smile appearance. Unlike other crowns, Pressed Crowns are unsupported by a ‘cap’ or substructure, and gain their strength from their fit and bond to the tooth, acting like new layers of real tooth. Pressed Crowns are, as the name suggests, a type of ceramic (lithium disilicate i.e E-MAX™) which can be pressed into the shape of a tooth and is a different way of producing a highly aesthetic crown. These type of crowns can be minimally invasive with less preparation. All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth if clinically suitable.
- Zirconia Crowns: Zirconia Crowns are very similar to Porcelain Bonded Crowns in that they are built with porcelain powder over a substructure, except the substructure is Zirconia. This is a bio-compatible man-made material which is immensely strong but also allows light to pass through it (unlike metal) enabling the most lifelike porcelain restorations possible. It is available in many shades and also, due to its high strength can be used the same way a full metal crown can, but tooth coloured. A full contour Zirconia (with no additional porcelain), is a good clinical choice for bruxists and grinders who wish not to have any metal showing on their gumline. Zirconia is the recommended choice if you are looking for an all-ceramic restoration that is fantastic aesthetically and is ultimately strong.
Note: Our dental crowns are easily conceptualized and designed with the help of CAD/CAM and 3D printing technology. This helps our dentists and designers to curate accurate results while maintaining the diversity in shape, size, preferences and age factor.