Dental crowns can serve both a cosmetic and practical purpose. They completely encapsulate a tooth, adding strength to weak or damaged teeth and covering any discoloration or other aesthetic issues. While fillings can be used to repair some damage, they do not offer the same protection and strength as a crown, and too many fillings in a tooth become unattractive and structurally unsound. For deep cavities, cracked teeth, or teeth in danger of cracking, crowns are an excellent option to repair and restore them.
There are several different types of crowns, each with its own advantages. Ceramic or porcelain crowns are best suited to restoring front teeth or canines, and are able to match the appearance of your natural teeth. While they offer some protection, they are not as strong as some other crowns. Porcelain-fused to metal crowns offer a stronger bond and greater strength and durability than porcelain on its own, while still offering a more natural appearance.
Metal alloys are the strongest, and can be made of noble or base alloys. While the iconic image of a metal alloy crown is the gold tooth, there are several other alloys that can be used, some of which have a silver or white gold coloring. Not only do metal crowns resist fracturing, but they do not run the risk of wearing away at the surrounding teeth. They are most often used where they are less likely to be seen, such as in molars.
Your dentist will help you decide which type of crown is best suited to your situation. No matter which type you choose, the process of applying them is the same. Applying crowns generally takes two visits, although 3D imaging and milling technology can be used to create and apply your veneers in the same visit. An impression of your tooth is taken to shape the crown, and the damaged tooth is shaped so that it the crown will be fitted over it. The impressions will be sent off to a lab where the crowns will be fabricated. Until they come in, you will be given temporary crowns so that you are not trying to eat and talk with the shaved down tooth.
At the second appointment, your dentist will make sure that it fits, and you will work with him or her to ensure it looks exactly the way you want it to. Once it has been adjusted to your specifications, your dentist will cement the crown into place.
While crowns can fall out or come loose, they are usually durable. The best way to keep your crowns in good condition is following good oral health practices. Make sure to brush and floss twice a day, and schedule regular appointments with your dentist at Bedford Dental Group. With proper maintenance, your crowns can last for the rest of your life.