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Dental Crowns

If you go to the dentist only for preventive examinations – you are a happy person! Most people sooner or later face the need for dental treatment, and then their prosthetics. Today there are many types of crowns. We will tell in this article about how they differ from each other and who needs them.

What are crowns and why are they needed?

A crown is one of the types of restoration that covers the visible part of the tooth from all sides and is fixed with special cement. The crown covers the tooth from all sides and becomes its new surface, so it restores the original shape of the tooth.

The crown is used to cover or completely hide the damaged tooth. Crowns not only support a damaged tooth, they can also improve its appearance, shape, or closure. The crown can also be placed on the implant, and it will serve as a tooth, having its shape and structure. Porcelain crowns can be matched to the natural color of your teeth. There are other materials, such as gold and metal alloys, acrylic and cermets. These alloys are usually more stable than porcelain and are recommended for posterior teeth. Ceramic-metal crowns are often used because of their stability and beauty. Porcelain is mounted on a metal frame.

Your dentist may recommend a crown in the following cases:

  • To replace a large filling when there is not enough tooth tissue left;
  • To protect a weak tooth from decay;
  • To restore a cracked tooth;
  • To attach a bridge;
  • To cover a dental implant;
  • To cover a discolored tooth or an ugly tooth;
  • To cover the tooth after root canal treatment.

Types of dental crowns

Modern crowns are almost indistinguishable from real teeth. The main difference between the crowns is the material from which they are made. It is the material that determines the appearance and strength of the products.

Metal crowns

Despite the exceptional strength (due to the ductility of the metal, crowns from this type of material do not crack and do not wear out), metal crowns are already the history of dentistry. The thing is that platinum or gold crowns are extremely unaesthetic. In addition, they are difficult to precisely plant on the tooth. Finding a dental clinic where metal crowns are still being installed is not easy today. However, they are still sometimes placed on chewing teeth.

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Cermet crowns

This is one of the best options if you want to save money. In the manufacture of ceramic-metal crowns, they use a ceramic coating similar to real enamel which is applied to a metal base. These are strong and durable crowns that are relatively inexpensive. But they also have disadvantages: the coating of such crowns does not have the translucency inherent in natural teeth, when installed on the front teeth, the metal base peeps into the gap between the coating layer and the gum, creating an ugly dark strip at the base of the tooth. In addition, the installation of such a crown requires depulpation and serious tooth turning.

Metal-free ceramic crowns

Ceramic crowns are most similar to real teeth – an experienced specialist can give them a slight translucency at the edge, and even imitate the natural structure of tooth enamel. Ceramic crowns are often used for prosthetics of the front teeth. Such crowns are strong and durable, but they are not intended for a sharp force impact. In other words, if you have such crowns, you cannot bite nuts. The disadvantages of the products include the high price.

Metal plastic crowns

The basis of such crowns is made of metal (as a rule, it is an alloy of cobalt and chromium), and an overlay of plastic imitating enamel is attached to it. These are cheap crowns, which have many disadvantages: they are fragile, change color under the influence of coffee, wine and other coloring substances, and they look unnatural. However, the attractive cost and very high manufacturing speed make such crowns a suitable option for temporary prosthetics.

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Dental crown installation technology

The prosthetics process consists of several stages and takes more than one day. Features depend on the type of crowns, but in general, the technology is as follows:

  1. Dentist examination. The doctor assesses the condition of the problem tooth and oral cavity in general, performs an X-ray examination to identify possible hidden pathology, selects the optimal tactics for prosthetics. The duration of the inspection is an average of one and a half hours.
  2. Training. First of all, a dentist performs oral cavity sanitation, treats caries and other diseases (if a patient has any). If necessary, depulpation is performed. If the part of the tooth above the root is badly damaged, a specialist creates support for the future crown in the form of a pin or a stump insert – a special construction of two parts (internal and external), which serves to fix the prosthesis. The duration of the preparation phase depends on the state of the oral cavity and ranges from one day to several weeks.
  3. Grinding the abutment. This measure is needed to ensure a strong fixation of the prosthesis. When installing non-metal structures, turning is minimal. The procedure lasts about an hour.
  4. Performing cast and model. The cast is removed not only from the supporting and neighboring teeth but also from the opposite jaw. On the basis of gypsum, a computer 3D-model of the future crown is created.
  5. Making a crown. The desired shade is selected on a scale of tones. During the manufacture of a permanent prosthesis, the patient wears temporary plastic crowns.
    Trying and trial fixation. The patient must evaluate whether the crown fits snugly, does it cause discomfort when talking, eating.
    Permanent fixation. If the test is successful, the doctor fixes the crown with dental cement.

Advantages and disadvantages of crowns

The installation of dental crowns is a popular method of prosthetics, due to several advantages:

  1. The crown helps to restore a badly damaged tooth that cannot be restored by filling or building;
  2. Modern types of crowns cannot be distinguished from healthy teeth;
  3. This type of prosthesis completely restores not only the shape and appearance but also the function of the tooth;
  4. Crowns contribute to the proper distribution of the masticatory load, protect the teeth from subsequent decay;
  5. This method allows you to restore several teeth at the same time (bridges). Crowns are installed on two abutment teeth, and the intermediate part reconstructs the appearance and function of the missing teeth;
  6. There are few contraindications to the installation of crowns.
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At the same time, the installation and wearing of crowns are associated with some difficulties:

  1. Preparation for prosthetics requires mandatory grinding of teeth;
  2. Errors made during the prosthetics process can lead to tooth decay under the crown. Poor filling of the canals, insufficiently treated caries, pulp burn during preparation lead to the fact that the tooth begins to hurt under the prosthesis. These troubles can be avoided by contacting a professional clinic with experienced doctors;
  3. If the root of the tooth is destroyed, just putting the crown will not work. In such cases, the root is removed, and reconstruction is carried out by installing a bridge or implant. The second method is preferable since it completely restores the functions of the teeth and contributes to an even distribution of the load when chewing. In addition, implants have a longer service life.

Dental crowns are a relatively inexpensive, aesthetic and almost universal way of prosthetics. They help not only restore chewing and speech functions but also achieve a perfect smile. There are situations when it is impossible to install a crown, and implantation is required. But in each such case, the issue is decided individually by the dentist.

Category: Healthcare

Tags: dental crowns, teeth, teeth health