Crown tooth repair is a form of dental restoration, it involves the use of of tooth-shaped cap to restore the strength and appearance of a tooth. Most people use to get confused, not knowing the difference between dental fillings and tooth crown. These two can be used to restore the normal shape of the teeth. But crowns are highly recommended if the damages on your tooth are too big to be covered with fillings. The crown is used in cases when the tooth is severe damaged to the extent that a filling won’t be able to restore its natural function and appearance.
In addition, dental crown or cap is used to cover the visible parts of a damaged tooth, it’s usually placed right above the gum line. As you read on through this article, I will reveal to you some other uses of dental crown. I will also address some of the common questions that most patients ask based on crown tooth repair. I will try to break every thing down in such a way that it will be easily understood.
When is crown needed?
The use of dental crown for tooth repair is very common in dentistry. It’s used widely in dentistry for repairing decayed and damaged tooth. Here are some of the dental problems that can be corrected through crown tooth repair:
- Broken tooth: your tooth can fracture due to trauma. This can make your tooth to be very weak and painful when you try to eat. A dental crown can be placed on your broken tooth in order to restore the normal structure and function of the tooth.
- Large cavity: if your teeth have decayed severely that it can’t be restored with fillings, crowns can be used to cover the affected teeth. Sometimes when there is no enough tooth structure remaining to support fillings, your dentist can recommend dental crown for you. Crowns can help to save your teeth from being damaged completely by decay. Those that have high risk of cavities, can also use crowns to protect their teeth.
- Excessive tooth erosion: tooth erosion can make your enamel will wear away completely, leaving small, soft teeth with your dentin exposed. This can be as a result of constant acids attack on the teeth, caused by acid reflux, bulimia or much of acidic diets. Apart from acid attacks, teeth grinding can also wear away your teeth enamel. Covering the teeth with crowns can help to restore the teeth to their normal size and strength.
- Unpleasant teeth appearance: for cosmetic reasons, dental crowns can be used to enhance the appearance of your teeth. Some common dental issues such as discolored or misshaped teeth, can be corrected and made to look beautiful again with crowns.
- Dental implants and bridges: dental implants can lead to spaces between your teeth. If you just had some implants, crown can be used to cover up the spaces left from missing teeth. It can also be used to hold dental bridges in place.
What types of dental crowns are available?
Dental crowns are differentiate based on the type of material used. The crowns can be made from stainless steel, metals, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin or all ceramic.
- Metal crowns: this crowns are made from alloy of high quality metals such as gold, palladium, nickel or chromium. Metal crowns are stronger and lasts much longer than other available alternatives. They can withstand forces from teeth grinding, biting and chewing without chipping or breaking. The only thing that most patients hate about metal crown is the color. It does not have the same color as your natural teeth, it might not be pleasing to the eye when used on the front teeth. It’s usually used at out-sight back teeth where chewing is greatly needed.
- All resins dental crown: this crowning material is mostly used for temporal dental crowning. It has the shortest durability range when compared to other crowning materials. Crowns are really expensive, if you don’t have enough money, you can consider going for all resins crowns. These crowns have the same color of the natural teeth, but it tends to wear down and fracture over time.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns: these crowns are much more stronger than all-resin crowns because of their metallic base. The crowns are designed to have the same color and look like your natural teeth. It can be used on the front teeth and bridges. The crowns are very strong and can last for a very long time, but that does not mean that it cannot chip or break off. However, the only draw back here is that, the metallic base of these crown can show through as a dark line at your gum line. This can get worse if your gums are receding around the affected area.
- All-porcelain or all-ceramic crowns: this two crowning materials have the best close matching appearance with your existing natural teeth. They have a better natural color and it’s highly recommended for patients that are allergic to metallic crowns. Just like the metals they are very strong and durable, but they tend to wear down more faster than metal crowns.
- Stainless steel crowns: this is one of the metallic crowns, but I picked it out because of its special uses. Stainless steel crowns are temporal crowning material that is used to protect the teeth until the permanent crowns are ready. The crown is used to cover the entire surface of the tooth, while the permanent crown is being made from another material. I hope you understood what am trying to say here. I can’t explain the full tooth crowning procedure here, but you can refer to my previous post on complete tooth crowning procedure to learn more.
How much is dental crowns?
There are so many factors that can affect the cost of getting a dental crown. The prices can vary depending on the type of crowning material that you want. Expertise of your dentist or the country where you live in, can all affect the cost of crowns.
There are available dental insurance plans that can cover some part of the expense. To get a dental crown for just a tooth you can be charged between $500 to $3000. Here is an estimated costs of dental crowns: gold- $1700, porcelain- $800, ceramic- $500, Resin- $300
How long does dental crowns last?
Well, honestly there is no specific period of time. On an average, a dental crown is meant to last for a period of 5 – 15 years or more. The life-span is greatly affected by how you take care of the crown after it has been installed in your mouth.
Although, some of the crowning materials are more prone to wear down and fracture more faster. Poor oral hygiene followed by constant wear and tear can damage your crowns within a short period of time.
Is there any special care for dental crowns?
Yes there are special treatments and care needed for your dental crowns. You should try as much as possible to take proper care of your teeth. You should try to avoid certain habits such as teeth grinding, chewing ice or using your teeth as a tool for opening stuffs like drinks covers. Your dentist will give you instructions and guidance on how to take care of your crowns, you should try to abide.
Remember, having a dental crown does not mean that your tooth can not be damaged by decay. If you fail to brush or floss at least twice a day, especially along the crown areas, you will end up having dental problems. Bacteria and plaque can easily accumulate around the crown area. The activities of these bacteria can lead to the production of acids that will wash away the cementing materials used to hold the crown. You can end up having , loose crown, tooth decay and gums recession.
You can call your dentist for him to recommend an anti-bacteria mouthwash for you. Try to rinse your mouth daily with suitable mouthwash in order to avoid bacteria accumulation and acid attacks.
Can I have dental problems after getting a dental crown?
You might experience pain and discomfort if your crown is not placed very well or when you don’t proper care of it. Here are some of the possible dental problems that you might experience after getting a crown tooth repair:
- Tooth sensitivity: you might start to experience pain on your tooth when eat cold or hot foods and drinks. This usually occurs If your tooth enamel was trimmed away too deep before the crown was installed. It’s a sign that the inner sensitive part of your tooth known as the dentin is exposed. When a crown is not placed very well, the lower sensitive part of your tooth might be exposed. If the tooth sensitivity is persistent for some few days after the crowning process, you should report to your dentist as soon as possible.
- Loose crown: your crown might start to loose if the cementing material that was used to hold it started to wear off. Use of poor quality cementing material and constant exposure to erosive agents can result to loose crown. If you choose to ignore this, bacteria can leak into your crown and cause decay to the remaining part of your tooth. You should request for urgent appointment with the dentist if your crown is loosing.
- Fractured clown: clowns made from porcelain or ceramic can at times crack or chip off. If the damage is not much, the dentist can repair it with the use of composite resins. But if the damaged is too large to be repaired, you can consider changing the crown.
- Allergic reaction: although this problem is very rare but it is possible. Most patients might start to have allergic reactions due to the material that was used to make their crown. Most people experience allergic reactions after getting a metallic crown. If you experience this too due to the material used for your crown, you can replace your crown with another crown made with different material.
- Crowns fall off: in some cases the dental crown can fall off. The major factor that can make your clown to fall off is when the remaining tooth within the crown is decaying. Another possible cause is loosening of the cementing material that was used to hold the crown in place. (1) You should go and meet your dentist, he will have to clean the clown and your tooth and then re-cement the crown to your tooth.