Dental Crowns: Who Needs Them and How Do They Work?
Dental crowns are a cap that goes atop your tooth to help cover it and restore its original size, shape, strength and appearance. Once the crown is cemented into place, it will help to encase the part of your tooth that lies above your gums.
Who Needs a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns may be needed in a number of different situations:
To help protect a weaker tooth from breaking or to help hold parts of a cracked tooth together
To help restore a tooth that is already broken or one that is worn down extensively
To help hold your bridge into place
To help support and cover teeth that have a large filling in them when there is an inadequate amount of tooth left over
To cover any teeth that are severely discolored or misshapen
To help cover your implant
To help make a modification
For children, the crowns may be used on their baby teeth to help aid in the following instances:
Save teeth that is eroded from decay and cannot sustain a filling
Protect childrens teeth who are at risk for decay, especially for children who do not maintain their oral hygiene
Decrease the likelihood of anesthesia for children based upon their behavior, age and medical history to help cooperate with all of the requirements in appropriate medical care
In certain instances, pediatric dentists will recommend the use of a stainless steel crown.
Varieties of Options Available for You
A permanent crown can be composed of a variety of different materials such as metal, ceramic, stainless steel and porcelain that is fused to metal.
Stainless Steel These crowns are prefabricated to be used on your permanent teeth as a temporary means of providing support. It helps to protect your filling or tooth while the permanent fixture is made out of another type of material. In children, this type of crown is used to fit atop a primary tooth that has undergone the preparation to fit it. It will cover the entire tooth and help to prevent any further decay from occurring. Once the primary tooth comes out to help pave the way for the permanent tooth, the crown will end up coming out with it. Most of the time, these crowns are used for children because they will not require an extensive amount of visits to put it into place. They are also more cost-effective than the alternatives, which is why a number of people will choose this option for their crown.
Metal When you compare this with the other types of crowns on the market, they require a smaller amount of the tooth to be removed, which is going to keep the opposing teeth from wearing down. Metal structures are able to withstand the chewing and biting forces, which helps them to last an extended period of time. Since they rarely break or chip, you will not have to worry about having multiple crowns put into your mouth over the course of time. The main drawback is the coloring of the crown, but they are a great choice for those molars that are out of sight.
Porcelain Fused to Metal This type of crown can be colored to match your surrounding teeth. When it comes to this crown, you will end up with a larger amount of wear on your surrounding teeth. The porcelain part of the crown can end up breaking or chipping off. Beyond all of the other types of materials, this will closely resemble your natural looking teeth. The metal on the underneath part of the crown can show through as a darker line around your gums. They work great for front or back teeth.
All Resin This type of crown is a lot less expensive than other types of crowns. They will end up wearing down over the course of time, which leads them open to fractures and breakage.
All Porcelain or All Ceramic This type of crown will provide you with a natural looking color to resemble your own teeth. For those who are allergic to metal, this is a suitable option to help cover any decaying teeth. Even though they may not be as strong as some of the other options on the market, they work great for front teeth. They will also cause more wear on your opposing teeth than some of the other alternatives.
Permanent versus Temporary A temporary crown can be made while you are at the dentist office, while the permanent crown will need to be completed inside of a dental lab. Temporary crowns are often made from stainless steel or acrylic and they can be used until the lab finishes making your permanent crown.
Caring for Your Temporary Crown
Since a temporary crown is only meant to be in place temporarily, you will want to take a few precautions to ensure your crown lasts until your permanent crown is ready.
Avoid eating any chewy, sticky foods that have the potential to grab the crown and pull it off.
Try to limit using the side of your mouth that has the crown in place. Focus on chewing mainly on the side that doesnt have the temporary fixture in place.
Avoid chewing any foods that are hard; they could end up breaking or dislodging your crown.
Slide the material used for flossing out rather than lifting as you clean your teeth. If you lift the floss out, it could cause the crown to be pulled off.
How Long Will a Crown Last for?
Most of the time, you can expect the crown to last anywhere from five years to up to 15 years. Depending on the amount of wear and tear you expose your crown to, the length of time it will last is going to vary accordingly. Good oral hygiene and personal habits will also play a part in the lifespan of your crown. Avoid grinding, clenching, biting your fingernails and chewing ice to help sustain the life of your crown.
Is Special Care Required for Crowns?
Even though teeth that have a crown are not going to require any specialized care, you want to remember that the tooth is still prone to gum disease and decay. Make sure you are following proper dental practices, such as flossing and brushing your teeth a couple times per day. An antibacterial rinse will also help to ensure the life of your appliance.
Cost of Your New Crown
The total cost of your crown is going to vary based upon the type of crown you decide to purchase. Porcelain is going to cost more than a gold crown, so you have to consider all of the options before making a final decision. On average, you can expect to spend anywhere from $500 to $900 per crown. Most of the time, you can get a portion of the cost covered by your dental insurance. Make sure to check ahead of time to see what is going to be covered for your new procedure.