Solar Dental & Orthodontics

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Dental crowns

A crown is a cap or covering for a tooth. It is used when your tooth is discolored, cracked or broken, heavily filled, or if fillings have been lost.

When a tooth gets to the stage where it cannot be effectively repaired with a filling it is often necessary to think about a crown. We have models in the practice to help patients understand what a crown is like.

Advances in Digital Dentistry allow us to provide beautiful, extremely natural-looking crowns that are milled from high tech ceramic materials. Many patients are now choosing to have crownwork done privately so that they can enjoy the benefits of these restorations.

If you need a crown your dentist will be happy to discuss the options with you and can show you examples of the different types of crown available.

There are many different types of dental crowns available from your National Dental Care dentist. Your dentist will advise the best option depending on the location of the crown. They may recommend ceramic, resin, or sometimes even gold crowns.

Our dentists use their expertise and modern technology to match the new crown to the shape and color of your existing teeth.

How do Crowns Work?

A crown is used to entirely cover or “cap” a damaged tooth. Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance, shape, or alignment. A crown can also be placed on top of an implant to provide a tooth-like shape and structure for function. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Other materials include gold and metal alloys, acrylic and ceramic. These alloys are generally stronger than porcelain and may be recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is often used because it is both strong and attractive.

Your dentist may recommend a crown to:

  • Replace a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

When would I need a crown?

  • Cover discolored or worn teeth
  • If you feel that your teeth are becoming more transparent or darker in color, they may be wearing down. Your dentist will discuss the reasons behind this as they must be treated first. If your dentist recommends a crown restoration, then this crown will be made to match the natural shape and strength of your existing tooth in a ceramic material.
  • Replacement of a large filling
  • If your teeth are heavily filled, they may be at risk of fractures or de-bonding of fillings. Frequent replacement of fillings can lead to loss of precious tooth structure. Repeated dental treatment on the same tooth may lead to the deepening of the filling and subsequent nerve inflammation. To avoid these complications, your dentist may recommend that a crown is constructed before the filling becomes too large, and the remaining tooth structure is too short to support a crown.
  • To stop a tooth from further cracking or fracturing
  • If your tooth is showing fine lines and cracks, or you occasionally feel sensitivity when biting into sticky or hard foods, your tooth may have a deep crack or may be at risk of complete fracture. This is common for heavily filled teeth, especially where an amalgam filling is in place. Your dentist may recommend a crown to restore the tooth and protect its cusps from splitting apart. The dentist may suggest replacing any amalgam with a ceramic restoration.
  • To anchor a bridge replacing a missing tooth
  • If a tooth is missing or lost, your dentist will discuss the options for tooth replacement. This may involve the placement of an implant or a tooth-supported bridge. If two or more teeth directly next to the lost or missing tooth are at risk of fracture or are discolored and need crowns, a bridge may be a good option to replace the missing tooth. When the bridge is produced, a porcelain tooth (pontic) is fused to the two or more crowns on either side. Once the crowns are fitted onto the adjoining teeth, the porcelain pontic appears to be emerging out of the gum. A bridge may be suitable for you if you are unable to have an implant due to issues with your overall health or dental health.
  • After root canal treatment 
  • Root canal filled teeth are prone to fractures, due to the nature of root canal treatment and hollowing out of the tooth in the process. Dentists highly recommend crowning most root canal filled teeth to protect them from fractures and further bacterial infections.

Why are crowns expensive?

Dental crowns can be seen as expensive because of the technology needed to produce a cap to repair your tooth. Every tooth is as unique as you, and dentists must use their expertise and modern technology to match the new crown to the shape of your existing teeth and their color.

The cost of dental crowns is dependent not just on which tooth requires treatment, but also the material needed. Less expensive options like fillings cannot provide the same benefits as dental crowns, as they don’t offer the same type of protection and durability over time.

Full porcelain fused to metal.
Full cast gold crown.

Resources:

colgate.com

nationaldentalcare.com.au

linkslodgedental.co.uk

We love our patients and love to help them form healthy dental life that will last them a lifetime. For more information call us to answer all of your questions so get an appointment today.

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