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DENTAL
TREATMENTS

Dental Crowns

What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns are defined as a covering or capping identical to the original tooth structure and placed over either a tooth or number of teeth. ‘Dental crowns’ on multiple teeth are called bridge. Dental crowns can also be regarded as an artificial restoration used to completely cover, encircle or cap a tooth structure or number of teeth on all the sides. It is like having artificial and beautiful modified tooth or teeth.

Types of Dental crown
There are distinguish varieties of dental crowns and day by day with the increasing technology, greater demand and established success, there are more developments in this area in terms of designs, types and colors. Few of them are-

  • Metal Crowns - Metal is an element, compound or alloy with good electric and heat conductivity. It is shiny, malleable and ductile. In dentistry, metals are used in crowns including materials like gold alloy (Palladium) or base metal alloy (Nickel or Chromium). It is advantageous to use as it can easily withstand mastication forces such as chewing and grinding etc. Such crowns very rarely chip or break. However, the metallic color is of great concern as aesthetically it appears unpleasant, and can also be swallowed and metal poisoning can occur
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal - Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating materials like clay up to 1200-1400 degrees. The brittle property, strength and translucency of this material are in the same form as glass. The crown is actually porcelain material fused over a metal base which looks like a tooth structure. It is very advantageous as it looks like a replica of the original tooth and aesthetically more pleasant. However, it requires more tooth reduction, and the smaller residual tooth can chip or break off easily and causes more wear to opposite tooth or teeth
  • All Ceramic or all Porcelain- This type of crown is made up of only ceramic material fused to a ceramic base. It provides the best solution and is very natural in color to match original teeth. It is very successful in patients with metal allergies. However, such crowns are not as strong as metal and porcelain–fused-to-metal and can wear the opposite teeth to a significant degree. Aesthetically these crowns are very good and they cost more than other crowns
  • All resins and temporary crowns- These are not used very often. They can be used for maximum 2-3 days. They cannot support mastication forces and the aesthetics and durability is poor and they are the cheapest among all crowns

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are needed in the following conditions
  • When there is a large cavity anywhere in tooth structure
  • If tooth is decayed and partially broken
  • To cover, support and maintain the life of dental treatment
  • To be placed as an artificial look alike tooth in place of missing one. Here it is placed as a dental bridge in which the support of one or two teeth is taken to fill the gap
  • To cover severely discolored or poorly shaped teeth
  • To cover dental implants
  • To make cosmetic modification especially in the upper and lower front teeth

Dental Crown in Children

  • Dental crowns are used to save a damaged tooth which cannot support filling
  • Dental crowns are used to protect their teeth against any risk of future damage or caries especially in those who cannot maintain daily oral hygiene
  • The use of dental crowns demand very good oral hygiene for better future results, but nowadays even patients with moderate oral hygiene have proven success. Moreover, it can also be used in children

Dental Crowns

Before the final stage of placing a dental crown or a bridge, the demanding tooth or supporting teeth needs to be reduced to half of its original size. After this, the dentist will make an impression (negative replica) of the teeth of the upper and lower jaw using dental material. Finally, after a few days the crown is placed.

Problems associated with complete procedure
  1. There can be a loss of sensitivity (pain when water, air or any element comes in contact with the reduced tooth) and this triggers discomfort
  2. The crown made of all porcelain can sometimes chip off, leading to injury of the inner surface of cheeks and gums causing pain
  3. Sometimes the materials and solution used to fix the crown get washed away after a few days. If this is not fixed shortly, it may allow bacterial inflow into the tooth and finally result in its total loss
  4. The crown of the front teeth may fall off due to improper fixation. This sudden fall can cause trauma to the mouth
  5. There can be allergy to metals or porcelains but it is very rare
  6. A dark line (metal) appears on the border of the crown right next to the gum line. Aesthetically this can be annoying
Durability of crown
On an average, metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal and all ceramic crowns last for 5 to 10 years. This life span can be shorter depending on the oral hygiene maintained and mouth related personal habits like grinding teeth, using foreign materials between teeth and using crowned tooth for irrelevant forces like opening bottle caps and crushing walnuts etc.

Future trends
Nowadays with the increasing demand to look classy and desirable, teeth play an important role. People with mal-aligned teeth, small or very large teeth, ugly and partially lost teeth can benefit by using dental crowns. This urbane development in dentistry definitely provides a very good choice of new, shining and durable teeth with amazingly beautiful looks.

1) What is a dental crown?

It is a prosthetic device in the form of a cap that is fixed over a tooth to restore it to its original appearance, shape and size. A dental crown can also be placed on top of an implant to prove tooth like shape. Its function is to provide strength to the damaged teeth and keep it intact in its original place.

 

2) Who needs a dental crown?

Dental crowns are usually put over a tooth in case of a damage caused due to cavity or decay, to cover misshaped or discoloured tooth, to restore an already broken tooth, to hold a dental bridge in place, to cover a dental implant or to do some modifications in the structure of the tooth. Children who are at a high risk of dental cavity or decay or have a damaged set of teeth are usually advised to put dental crowns.

 

3) How is a tooth prepared for a crown?

The process of installing crown on your affected tooth requires a minimum of two visits to your dentist. On the first visit, the dentist will thoroughly examine your tooth to make sure it can hold the crown. Also, if he spots that the tooth is broken or damage, he will first get the filling done before moving on to the next step of capping. An impression of the tooth is then taken and sent to the lab for making a crown of the exact size and shape that can fit seamlessly over the existing tooth. Meanwhile a temporary crown is put and once the permanent crown is ready, the temporary crown is replaced with it.

 

4) What are crowns made of?

Dental crowns can be made of a variety of material. Right from porcelain to stainless steel to gold to all resin, depending on your choice of material and budget you can opt for anyone of these.  While gold alloy or other metal based crowns can be slightly expensive on the pocket, all resin dental crowns are less expensive compared to others. However they wear off easily and are also prone to damage and breakage. An all ceramic or porcelain dental crown provide a better natural colour match to your original teeth and so are widely preferred among people.

 

5) Will my dental crown be noticeable?

Depending on the material of the dental crown it may become visible or not visible on your tooth. Metal crowns that are made of gold alloy, nickel or chromium are even though long lasting in nature and rarely break; the metallic colour of the dental crown can be easily noticed. The crowns that are made of ceramic or porcelain fall more in the made to order category as they match the colour and size of your teeth perfectly thus making them appear as real as the original tooth. They are more popular among users for their look and feel.

 

6) How long do dental crowns last?

On an average dental crowns last anywhere between 5 to 15 years. The life of the dental crowns also depends a lot on the amount of wear and tear they face on a daily basis. Maintenance of dental crowns goes a long way in increasing their life span. Therefore, one must diligently follow the routine of brushing and flossing to make sure no food particle is left around the area to give rise to bacteria formation.  Personal mouth habits like not biting nails, grinding and clenching teeth are some of the things to keep in mind for to keep dental crowns intact in the long run. Also, keeping the area around the crown clean is very important to increase the lifespan of the prosthesis and to keep all dental problems away.

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