Dental Crowns

What are Dental Crowns?
Dental Crowns are caps that are in the shape of the tooth and are placed over the tooth by covering it. Crowns help the teeth to restore its shape and size, its strength and also its appearance. The dental crowns are then cemented into place. This will fully cover the portion of the teeth that is visible above the gum line.

These crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of the tooth that is found from the gum line.

Need For Dental Crowns
The dental crowns are needed for adults for the following reasons:

  • Protection of a weak tooth from breaking or holding together the cracked tooth pieces. This tooth could have been weakened due to decay.
  • Restoration of a broken tooth or a severely worn down tooth.
  • Cover and Support a tooth with a large filling if there isn’t much natural tooth left.
  • Holding a dental bridge in place.
  • Cover discoloured or odd shaped teeth.
  • Cover any dental implant.
  • Perform a cosmetic modification.

The reasons for dental crowns would be for the following reasons:

  • Saving of a tooth damaged by decay.
  • Protection of the child’s teeth from risk of tooth decay, especially for those children with difficulty in following oral hygiene practices.

Types of Dental Crowns
The different types of Dental Crowns are:

  • Stainless Steel
    These crowns are prefabricated and used on permanent teeth temporarily. The crown usually covers the whole teeth and protects it from decay. These are usually used for children.
  • Full Metal
    These dental crowns are made of alloys with high concentration of gold, platinum or base metal alloys. These are strong and can withstand the chewing and biting forces well. They are durable and last for a long time. They are a good choice for molars since they are hidden.
  • Porcelain Fused To Metal
    These dental crowns can be colour matches with the adjacent teeth. These crowns wear out faster than metallic or resin crowns. These crowns are usually used for either front or back teeth, as well as long bridges where the metal’s strength is required.
  • All Resin
    These crowns are the least expensive ones but tend to wear out quickly and are prone to fractures.
  • All Ceramic
    These crowns provide the natural colour of the teeth. These dental crowns are usually made for patients with metal allergies and can be used for both front and back teeth.
  • Temporary and Permanent:
    The temporary dental crowns can be manufactured in a clinic while the permanent ones are prepared in a dental lab. Temporary crowns are usually made of an acrylic-based material or stainless steel and it is used as a temporary restoration unlike permanent crowns.

Dental Crowns Procedure
The dentist will first examine the tooth and then prepare it for the dental crown. The dentist might take X-rays to check the roots of the tooth where the crowns are going to be fixed and also the bone under it. If there is a risk of infection to the tooth’s pulp, the dentist might recommend root canal therapy. Temporary crowns might be placed to prevent infection till the permanent crown is ready.

Once the permanent dental crowns are ready, the dentist will remove the temporary ones and then fix the new permanent crowns and cement them into place.

Authored By Dr Sanjay N - Orthodontics & Dentofacial Orthopaedics, Bangalore

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