If you have a decayed, broken, weak or worn-down tooth, a dental crown is a great way to restore your smile. Your dentist in Houston also uses these tooth-shaped caps to cover dental implants and teeth treated with root canals.
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that fits over a damaged, restored, or decaying tooth. Your dentist may have recommended a dental crown if you have:
A dental crown works like a protective shell around a tooth weakened by disease or root canals. Your dentist prepares the tooth by removing a small amount of tooth enamel, which creates a little room in your mouth for the placement of the crown.
Your Houston dentist may recommend the placement of a dental crown in combination with other dental services, such as root canals.
Dentists use a variety of materials to make dental crowns. Each material has its own benefits and drawbacks, of course, which can make choosing dental crowns difficult. Fortunately, our dentists can recommend materials, based on your personal needs and desires.
Gold has been used as decorative dental work for more than 4,000 years, and may have been used to make crowns and other dental appliances as early as 630 B.C.E.
Dentists used gold in their dental appliances for a number of reasons. Gold is:
Gold may not be the right choice for you if you do not like the cosmetic appearance of the eye-catching metal. This material also conducts hot and cold temperatures quickly, so gold dental crowns may cause sensitivity, especially for a few weeks after placement of the crowns.
Dental crowns made of porcelain are natural-looking and beautiful. Porcelain does not conduct cold or heat efficiently, so most people don’t experience sensitivity after receiving their porcelain dental crowns.
Porcelain is harder than tooth enamel, so it can stand up to some stresses of biting and chewing, but the hardness of porcelain can damage the natural teeth they touch when biting and chewing. While porcelain is strong, though, it may be brittle and break easily.
To withstand pressure without fracture, though, porcelain dental crowns must be thicker than gold restorations. Because porcelain crowns are thicker, dentist must remove more of the tooth to create room for the crown. Bonding is different too - the cements dentists use to bond gold crowns to teeth cannot be used for porcelain crowns.
Porcelain crowns are best for front teeth or other teeth when cosmetic appeal is important.
For many years, porcelain fused to gold was the best alternative to metal crowns and all-porcelain crowns. The visible part of the crown is made of porcelain to create a natural-looking restoration, while the gold base acts as a protective barrier in case the porcelain fractures. Regular bonding cement may be used to secure the gold base.
The biggest drawback is that the gold can sometimes be visible, appearing like a dark metal edge at the gumline; the gold is particularly visible in patients with receding gums.
Zirconia is made from the metal zirconium, which jewelers use to create the synthetic diamond-like stone known as cubic zirconia. This material makes a great base for bonding porcelain crowns, and it is less likely to fracture. Glass ionomer cements work well with zirconia.
Crowns made from porcelain fused to zirconia and full zirconia dental crowns are perfect for any restoration in which a beautiful result is desired, but strength and durability are required.
Dental composite crowns provide less strength and durability than do gold, porcelain, or zirconia, but may be better for those who experience dental sensitivity with metal or porcelain dental appliances.
Dentists often use dental composite to create tooth-colored fillings, but it works well for making dental crowns. Made from a synthetic resin material, dental composite is less expensive than gold, porcelain, or zirconia.
For more information on which dental crown material might be right for you, contact the dental professionals at Premier Dental Club. Our dentist in Houston offers the dental crowns you need when only the best will do.