Unveiling the Secrets of The Various Types of Dental Crowns: Enhance Your Smile

Unveiling the Secrets of The Various Types of Dental Crowns: Enhance Your Smile By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | August 17, 2023

If you’ve ever felt the sting of a broken or decayed tooth, you’d know that it’s not just about the discomfort—it can significantly affect your overall well-being. Damaged teeth can hold us back from flashing our full smiles and, more seriously, compromise our oral health.

The good news is that modern dentistry offers a variety of options for teeth restoration. One standout solution is the use of dental crowns.
Understanding the different types of dental crowns is a crucial step towards making informed decisions about your dental health.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the world of dental crowns, discussing their purposes, the conditions they address, and the different types available to you. So, let’s get started, shall we? Keep reading to learn more about dental crowns.

Summary of the Content:

  • Dental crowns are caps placed over teeth to restore their form, function, and appearance.

  • Crowns can address broken teeth, protect weak ones, cover dental implants, support large fillings, and improve aesthetics.

  • There are four primary types of crowns: all-metal, all-ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and stainless steel, each with unique advantages and disadvantages.

  • Materials used in crowns include porcelain, metal alloys, porcelain fused to metal, and resin, each offering different benefits and drawbacks.

  • The crown placement process involves consultation, tooth preparation, impressions, temporary crown placement, and final dental crown placement.

  • The factors to consider when selecting a dental crown include crown type, material, cost, aesthetics, durability, tooth condition, and procedure.

  • Maintenance involves good oral hygiene, avoiding hard foods, regular check-ups, wearing a mouthguard if needed, and being mindful of staining substances and temperature sensitivity.

Understanding Dental Crowns

So, what are dental crowns exactly? A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that dentists place over a tooth. The crown restores the tooth’s shape, size, strength, and aesthetic appearance, improving your smile and chewing function.

Dental crowns serve a variety of purposes:

  • Address broken or fractured teeth:
    A dental crown can address the issues brought about by a damaged tooth, restoring shape and function.

  • Protecting weak teeth:
    If a weakened tooth is at risk of breaking, a crown can provide the necessary protection.

  • Covering a dental implant:
    Crowns are often used to give a natural appearance to dental implants.

  • Supporting teeth with a large filling:
    When there’s not much of the natural tooth left, a crown can provide sufficient support to strengthen the tooth.

  • Improving appearance:
    Dental crowns can cover severely discoloured or misshapen teeth, enhancing the appearance of your smile.

Dental crowns are a suitable solution for a variety of dental conditions, including:

  • Decayed teeth:
    A dental crown can be the ideal restoration option when tooth decay has damaged much of the natural tooth structure.

  • Broken or fractured teeth:
    Crowns restore the shape and function of broken teeth.

  • After root canal treatment:
    A dental crown often follows root canal therapy to protect the restored tooth.

  • Worn teeth:
    Over time, teeth can wear down. Dental crowns restore their shape and function.

The Different Types of Dental Crowns

dentist doing check up patient

When it comes to restoring a damaged or discoloured tooth, dental crowns are an excellent option. Among the common options, there are four primary types of dental crowns to consider, each one designed to suit specific needs and preferences:

  • All-Metal Crowns:
    A popular choice for restoring teeth that are not readily visible when smiling, all-metal crowns are known for their superior durability. They are usually made from gold alloys or base metal alloys. Their metallic colour, however, makes them less aesthetically pleasing than other types.

  • All-Ceramic Crowns:
    If you’re aiming for that beautiful smile with a natural colour, all-ceramic crowns are an excellent choice. They are a metal-free alternative that offers an excellent colour match to the rest of your teeth, making them ideal for front teeth restorations. The major risk associated with ceramic crowns is their relative fragility compared to metal crowns.

  • Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns:
    A beautiful blend of strength and aesthetics, these crowns feature a metal base covered with a porcelain layer. This design combines the resilience of metal with the natural appearance of porcelain. However, over time, the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line.

  • Stainless Steel Crowns:
    Stainless steel crowns are used on children’s teeth to protect them from further decay. While cost-effective and easy to place, their main drawback is their unnatural appearance.

Materials Used in Dental Crowns

In the realm of dental treatments, the choice of material can make a significant difference, not only in the look of your crowns but also in their longevity and compatibility with your body. Here are some of the common types of materials used in dental crowns:

  • Porcelain or Ceramic:
    These materials are valued for their natural appearance and excellent colour-matching capabilities. However, they can cause more wear to the opposing teeth than metal crowns.

  • Metal Alloys (Gold or Base Metal):
    These strong materials can withstand biting and chewing forces, making them suitable for restoring molars. Their metallic colour is their main disadvantage.

  • Porcelain Fused to Metal:
    Offering a good balance between strength and aesthetics, these crowns can be colour matched to your adjacent teeth. The downside is the potential for the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain to show through the gum line.

  • Resin:
    Resin crowns are less costly and can be colour-matched to your natural teeth, but they wear down over time and are more prone to fractures than crowns made of other materials.

Whether you’re dealing with a broken tooth, a weak tooth due to a large filling or extensive decay, or simply want to improve your smile, understanding the types of dental crowns, dental crown materials, and dental crown procedures can help you make an informed decision.

After all, a well-informed patient is a happy patient, and there’s nothing more rewarding than helping you achieve that amazing smile.

The Process of Getting a Dental Crown

Are you curious about dental crown procedures? From the initial consultation to the placement of the final crown, here’s what you can expect from your dental journey:

  1. Initial Consultation:
    Your dentist will examine your teeth and discuss the options with you. If a dental crown is a suitable solution, the dentist will provide detailed information about the procedure, the dental crown materials, and the associated costs.

  2. Tooth Preparation:
    Next, the dentist prepares the tooth for the crown. This step involves reshaping the tooth to make room for the crown and will also include removing any decayed or weakened areas.

  3. Impressions:
    Once the tooth is prepared, the dentist takes a dental impression of your teeth. This mould will be used to create a crown that fits your bite and smile.

  4. Temporary Crown Placement:
    While the final dental crown is being made, a temporary crown protects the prepared tooth. Temporary crowns are often made from acrylic and last only a few days or weeks.

  5. Final Dental Crown Placement:
    Once your final crown is ready, the dentist will replace the temporary crown. Adjustments can be made so that the crown fits comfortably and matches your natural tooth colour.

Factors to Be Considered When Choosing a Crown

When selecting the right dental crowns for you, it’s essential to weigh multiple factors. Let’s discuss seven critical considerations that can guide you in your decision-making process:

  • Type of Crown:
    There are several types of dental crowns to consider, including porcelain crowns, full-ceramic crowns, and zirconia crowns, among others. Each offers unique benefits and may be better suited for different scenarios.

  • Material:
    Dental crown materials vary widely, from porcelain and ceramic material to various types of metals. The type of materials you choose can significantly impact the appearance and durability of the crown.

  • Cost:
    While dental crown costs can vary, it’s important not to let price be your only guide. Aside from dental crown costs, consider the longevity and performance of the crown material as well.

  • Aesthetics:
    The crown’s appearance can be a crucial factor, especially if the treatment involves the front teeth. Porcelain and ceramic offer a pleasing option that closely matches the look of natural teeth.

  • Durability:
    Certain materials, like zirconia and base metal alloys, offer superior strength and durability, an important factor if the crown is to be placed on a tooth with high bite pressure.

  • Tooth Condition:
    The state of the original tooth structure, including the extent of decay or damage, can determine the type of crown suited for the treatment.

  • Procedure:
    Different dental procedures and services may be involved depending on the type of crown chosen. Some, like same-day dental crowns, involve minimal tooth preparation and can be completed in one dental visit.

Maintaining Your Dental Crowns

Once you’ve gone through the process of selecting and receiving your custom-made crowns, the focus shifts to preserving your beautiful, natural-looking smile. Here are ten tips on how to care for and maintain your dental crowns:

  • Practise Good Oral Hygiene:
    Regular brushing and flossing are essential to prevent decay in the neighbouring teeth and gum disease.

  • Avoid Hard Foods:
    Chewing on hard foods can cause chips in porcelain crowns or damage other types of crowns.

  • Regular Check-ups:
    Regular dental appointments can help your dentist spot problems early and keep your crowns in good condition.

  • Wear a Mouthguard:
    If you grind your teeth at night, a mouthguard can protect your crowns from excessive bite pressure.

  • Don’t Use Your Teeth as Tools:
    Opening packages or bottles with your teeth can lead to cracks or chips.

  • Mind Your Bite:
    Be mindful of bite issues. If your bite feels uneven, return to your dentist for adjustments.

  • Limit Staining Substances:
    Coffee, tea, and red wine can stain certain types of crowns over time.

  • Avoid Sticky Foods:
    Sticky foods can tug at the crown and potentially dislodge it.

  • Be Mindful of Temperature Sensitivity:
    Some people experience sensitive teeth after getting a dental crown. Avoid extremely hot or cold foods if this happens to you.

Remember, when it comes to your dental health, making informed decisions and practising good habits can go a long way.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the world of dental crowns can seem a bit daunting at first. However, with a solid understanding of the types of dental crowns, dental crown materials, dental crown costs, and dental crown procedures, it becomes much less overwhelming.

Remember, the entire crown is designed to protect your entire tooth, reducing the risk of infection and further dental complications. It restores your natural bite and gives you back the confidence to smile freely. Whether you’re dealing with a loose crown, extensive decay, or simply want to improve your smile, the right dental crown can make a world of difference.

Each material brings unique benefits to the table, from porcelain to zirconia, from full-ceramic to metal. It’s all about finding the crown of choice that suits your needs, preferences, and budget. Each crown is a custom-made cap that fits snugly over your tooth, crafted with precision and care.

Making the right choice starts with a thorough consultation. At Darch Dental Centre, our dedicated team is ready to guide you through the process, helping you make the right decision for your dental health. We’ll discuss all your options in detail, including the associated costs, so that you can make an informed decision.

So, why wait? It’s time to take the first step towards a healthier, brighter smile. Please book a consultation appointment today by calling Darch Dental Centre or through our website.

We’re looking forward to helping you enhance your smile!

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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