Everything you need to know about dental crowns – a guide for patients in Alliston
A crown is a dental restoration that looks like a replica of a natural tooth, except it is hollow in the center. It is designed to fit over a tooth or implant, restoring functionality and the appearance of your smile. Dr. Oksana Vozna offers several types of dental crowns here at Dominion Street Dental in Alliston. If you are considering this treatment, you probably have some questions. Here is everything you need to know about our dental crowns.
Can I get a crown to correct my unattractive tooth?
A dental crown covers the entire visible part of the tooth, so it certainly corrects any cosmetic flaws. However, this type of restoration requires considerable tooth preparation, so it is rarely used for exclusively cosmetic purposes. For cosmetic correction of a tooth that is healthy, and strong, a porcelain veneer is usually the better option.
Why do I need a dental crown?
Some of the most common reasons crowns are placed include:
- Covering a dental implant
- Protecting a tooth after root canal treatment
- Replacing old dental work
- Repairing a broken or severely decayed tooth
- Correcting a misshapen tooth
- Securing a dental bridge
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What type of crown is best?
At one time, metal crowns were the only option available to dental patients. Thankfully, those days are long gone. Today, we have several materials to choose from. The best type of crown depends on your oral health needs, and to a great extend your personal preferences. During your consultation, Dr. Vozna will explain the pros and cons of each option and answer your questions.
- Stainless steel – This is a durable and economical material. Additionally, stainless steel crowns are generally pre-fabricated, making the placement process fast and efficient. The disadvantages include lack of customization, and unnatural appearance. Stainless steel crowns are most often used as temporary restorations, or to repair damaged primary (baby) teeth in children.
- Other metals – Gold or metal alloy can be a good choice for strength and functionality. Unlike stainless steel, these crowns are individually made, so the fit is customized. Metal crowns are most often used on the back teeth (molars). These teeth absorb most of the bite force, so the strength of metal is beneficial. Additionally, they don’t show when you smile. Most patients don’t want metal on their front teeth for cosmetic reasons.
- Ceramic or porcelain – This is the material of choice for optimal cosmetic results. Porcelain and other ceramic materials are naturally white with subtle luminescence similar to tooth enamel. The ceramist adjusts the color to match your teeth, as well as adding subtle variations for an ultra-natural appearance. Although porcelain is highly wear-resistant, there is potential for chipping or fracturing. This is less of a concern than it was several years ago, because dental porcelain has improved and evolved to be much stronger. Porcelain is the most popular choice for treating front teeth.
- Porcelain fused to metal – This hybrid design combines the beauty of porcelain with the strength of metal in a high quality, customized crown. There may be slight darkness at the margins, due to underlying metal showing through, but this design looks nearly as natural as all-porcelain. It can be a good choice for people who want porcelain crowns but need something stronger due to issues such as grinding teeth.
What does the dental crown procedure involve?
The actual crown procedure consists of two parts. First, the tooth is prepared. This involves removing diseased tooth material, reducing the size, and shaping the tooth. Once this is done, we will take impressions, which the ceramist uses to create your crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is added at this stage.
The final step comes when the laboratory finishes creating your customized crown. You will return to our office for a final appointment. The doctor first checks the fit, color, and appearance of the crown. Next, she uses a permanent dental cement to secure it in place. Once your crown is in place, you can expect it to last for many years if you maintain good oral health.