Ceramic Crowns: Types, Prons, Cons and Health Risks

Ceramic Crowns
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Ceramic crowns have been a popular choice when it comes to tooth restoration in dentistry. Its full thickness is made entirely from a glass- like substance with a great aesthetic qualities. Ceramic crown is used in dentistry to enhance the appearance and strength of a tooth. It can be used either at the front or back teeth, but it’s more preferable for front teeth. This is because of its natural and beautiful appearance, they blend so well with the rest of your original teeth.

All-ceramic crowns

All-ceramic crowns is used to refer to dental crowns that are made with 100% ceramic. The all-ceramic crowns have increased their popularity in the world of dentistry, they are strong and more aesthetically pleasing than most other dental crowning material. They appear to be glass-like and can blend very well with your natural teeth.

Ceramic is a smooth white material that can be customized to look and feels just like your natural teeth. Ceramic crown is used as a restorative treatment for broken, weak or severely decayed tooth. When used on a tooth, It shields the tooth while restoring its size, shape and overall appearance.

Types of ceramic crowns

  • Lithium disilicate porcelain crowns: This dental crown is made entirely from biocompatible lithium disilicate ceramic glass ingots. It’s highly durable, with a flexural strength of 400MPa. (1)
  • Leucite reinforced pressable porcelain crowns: this is also a type of ceramic crown with a flexural strength of 160MPa. It is so very possible to obtain an exact match of your teeth appearance with the use of leucine reinforced pressable porcelain crowns. They are highly durable and are used to provide excellent dental restorations that closely match the natural teeth.
  • Solid or Monolithic Zirconia Crowns: they are among the most strongest type of ceramic crowns. It has a flexural strength of 1200MPa, making it ideal for posterior dental restorations. They are durable and also more valued than most other ceramic crowns.
  • High-translucent zirconia: this crown has the lowest flexural strength when compared with other alternatives. It has a flexural strength between 590 and 720 MPA. High-translucent zirconia are specially designed to replicate the colour of adjacent teeth, their restorations will blend in perfectly with your natural teeth. But because of their strength and translucency, they are considered to be more suitable for anterior crowns.

Advantages of ceramic crown

With ceramic crowns, you don’t need to worry about the health of your gums surrounding the crowns. Due to the fact that all-ceramic crowns are biocompatible materials, the gum tissue will be able to stay healthy and whole beside them. It bonds very well, that your gums tissues won’t pull away from your crowns.

Another advantage of ceramic crowns is their ability to blend so well with the rest of your natural teeth. It’s possible that you may even forget that they are not your original teeth. (2) When used on a damaged or decayed tooth, It completely surrounds the tooth, restoring the damaged structure, size, and its appearance.

In addition, ceramic crowns are considered to be an excellent alternative for patients that have allergic reactions to metallic crowns. Ceramic crowns such as zirconia, possess superior strength characteristic, making them ideal for both anterior and posterior crowns.

Disadvantages of ceramic crowns

When it comes to durability and life-span, there is no any other type of dental crowning material that can be compared to all-metal crowns. (3) In some cases where durability and longevity are vital, ceramic crowns might not be a good choice. The reason why I said this is because, ceramic crowns are more likely to fracture or break when they are not taking proper care of.

How to get a ceramic crown

A ceramic crown can be placed on a tooth just like a traditional crown. It will take two visits to the dentist in order to install a ceramic crown. On your first visit to the dentist office, the dentist will have to check your tooth where the crown will be placed. He will need to remove the decayed portion of your tooth if you had a tooth decay.

The next step is to shapen your tooth enamel to make a room where the new crown will be placed on. After reshaping, the dentist takes impression of the tooth. Dental impression involves the use of paste or putty material to obtain the actual measurement of your tooth. The impression will be used to fabricate your crown later on. After the impression has been taken, the dentist will have to place a temporal crown on your tooth.

On your second visit, the dentist will perform the final placement. The dentist will remove the temporal crown and check the fit of the newly fabricated ceramic crown. He might still need to do some last-minute adjustment before the dental crown will be bonded over your tooth. You can learn more about the crowning procedure on my previous post – complete dental crowning procedure. 

How to care for ceramic crowns

Proper maintainance of a dental crown is very important if you want the crowns to last long. However, ceramic crowns are not meant to last forever, but your dentist will tell you how long the crown is meant to last. If you are able to keep to the maintenance guide that is being recommended by your dentist, you can keep your crown safe and strong.

To care for ceramic crowns, you should try to avoid those things that can damage the crowns. Make proper use of your teeth and also practice good oral hygiene. Brush and floss carefully and regularly, most especially around the base of the crown to prevent plaque and bacteria buildup.

Do ceramic crowns have any health risk?

Well, my answer to that question is no. There hasn’t been any case of health problem that is proven to be associated with the use of ceramic crown. Although, it’s possible that some patients might be allergic to ceramic crown, but it’s very rare. Since ceramic crowns are prone to crack if misused, you should be watchful. Harmful bacteria can penetrate inside the crown through cracks and create serious dental problems.

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