What are dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are fixed prosthetic restorations made to restore a damaged tooth to its original shape and size. They’re permanently cemented on teeth that have cracked, extensively decayed, or otherwise been damaged. They completely cap or encircle a tooth or dental implant.
They can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, porcelain or a combination of both. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth, usually suggested after a root canal procedure because the tooth is fragile and needs protection.
types of dental crowns
There are temporary crowns and permanent crowns. Crowns can be made from a variety of different materials, depending on the patient’s need and preference:
Temporary crowns can be made right in your dentist's office to give a tooth coverage, while the permanent crown is made off-site, typically in a dental laboratory. Temporary crowns are often made of acrylic-based material or stainless steel.
Stainless steel crowns are typically a temporary solution used to protect a tooth or filling while a permanent crown (made from a different material) is being prepared. Stainless steel crowns are often used for children to protect a primary tooth from additional decay—that way, when the permanent tooth arrives, the crown comes out naturally.
Metal crowns normally include alloys with a high gold/platinum content, or base-metal alloys like cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium. These alloys can endure the wear and tear of long-term biting and chewing, and are considered very durable since they rarely chip or break. The color is the main disadvantage, which is why they’re often used for molars near the back of the mouth.
This type of crown is a solid option for front or back teeth, or when a bridge demands the strength provided by the metal. The advantage of the porcelain is appearance; the color can be matched to neighboring teeth. However, porcelain does have its disadvantages: it shows more wear, can chip or break off, and over time a dark metal “line” can show through.
While dental crowns made entirely from resin are not as expensive as other crown types, over the long term, they do have the tendency to wear down or fracture at a higher rate than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns do.
All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain
Easily considered the best cosmetic choice, these dental crowns provide a natural color match that’s far better than any of the other materials, and they’re definitely more suitable for patients with any metal allergies.
Zirconia crowns are becoming one of the most popular choices of dentists and patients alike. It's the strongest crown out of all, it can withstand wear and tear. It does not chip off, unlike porcelain. If you maintain it well, it can virtually last a lifetime.
It is at least five times stronger than porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. It also tolerates chewing or biting forces well. Being naturally white, it allows the transformations to any shade which match with the rest of your teeth.
It is also biocompatible, meaning that the body will accept it, no allergic reaction have been reported yet.
At the present time, it is the strongest material yet for dental crowns.
Illustration of a dental crown.