There is no one type of dental crown or “tooth cap” that can offer the best solution for all conditions. There are four types of crowns as ceramic, porcelain fused with metal, gold alloy, base metal alloy crown. So, depending on your requirements and conditions, your dentist will suggest you an ideal crown that would be relevant for your treatment.
If your tooth is damaged from caries or trauma but not lost, then a crown or a tooth-shaped cap can be used to restore the missing piece.
A dental crown also recreates the of shape, appearance, and function of a damaged tooth. You may need a crown after you have a root canal procedure.
A Dental crown can improve the shape and health of teeth. If you need a tooth crown, then you might of go for a dental specialist which is also known as a prosthodontist.
The treatment requires an impression of the damaged tooth and nearby teeth. The crown is built using restorative dental materials corresponding to the impression.
The final crown placed on your tooth will be the right shape and size for your mouth and will not interfere with your bite.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a prosthetic device that is used as an artificial replacement that restores the missing structure of the tooth. It is made up of a material such as metal, porcelain, ceramic or combination of materials such as metal and porcelain.
A dental crown is a type of tooth restoration that fully covers the portion of a tooth or dental implant that lies at or above the gum line. The crown forms the tooth’s new outer surface. A dental crown is permanently cemented to the tooth surface.
Dental crowns are suggested by dentists when the patient suffers from tooth decay, chipped, broken, or cracked teeth. There are different types of crowns that can suit different conditions and budget. (1)
Types of crowns
Crowns are made from different materials according to part of teeth where it will be placed. There are four types of crowns that are available. You can ask your dentist about the type of the dental crown that will suit you best and are within your budget.
Ceramic crowns are used mainly for restoring front teeth and are very popular for their ability to blend with your natural tooth color. The ceramic crown is prepared with a porcelain-based material. (2)
Ceramic crowns are mostly preferred because they are virtually invisible. It can easily blend with your actual tooth color and appearance. Ceramic is also known for producing a perfect fit.
It is one of the costliest of all types of crowns. Ceramic crowns are expensive as it requires craftsmanship on the part of the dentist. However, it’s not as strong and durable as metal crown since it mainly focuses on aesthetics.
Porcelain-fused to metal
Porcelain-fused to metal crowns provides a stronger bond than regular porcelain or ceramic crowns because it is a hybrid between all-metal and all-ceramic crowns. It’s also extremely durable and also offers desirable esthetics.
They have high strength and durability after pure metal crowns. It also provides natural tooth color and blends in easily. (3)
The metal that lies underneath the crown’s porcelain surface can sometimes appear as a dark line near the crown’s edge and gives a very unnatural look. This dark line is easily recognizable when the gums start to recede that ruins the crown appearance.
It’s usually difficult to create a natural look with porcelain-fused to metal crowns. Also, it is not as durable as all metal crowns. It may break off and wear down because of opposing teeth.
Gold alloy crowns
This crown is made from a mixture of gold, copper, and other metals. Sometimes the alloy looks like silver rather gold. This is the oldest type of crown that dentists have been placing. It provides a powerful bond to the teeth and doesn’t fracture easily. (4)
Especially, malleable metals craft this crown and thus, it’s easy for the dentist to manipulate the material as desired. These do not fracture or wear easily. They are very strongly fitted to the teeth and are very durable.
Its color doesn’t blend with the natural color of the teeth and can be unappealing to some people.
Base metal alloys
Base metal alloy crowns are made up of metals other than Nobel metals (gold or silver). These metals are highly resistant to corrosion and form a very strong crown. Also, this type of crown lest require removal of natural and healthy teeth before fitting on the affected tooth.
It provides amazing durability and seals very strongly with the tooth. Base metal alloys are resistant to wear and tear and also they are gentle on opposing teeth.
Some people show an allergic reaction to various metals present in the alloy such as nickel. Sometimes, the color of this crown may not blend in very well with the color of the tooth. (5)
Final words on types of crowns
So, there are different types of crowns. But the choice depends on your condition, budget and doctor’s recommendations. Crowns have outstanding esthetic appeal and generally last for about ten years or even longer if you keep them clean and take good care of them.
Always brush and floss your crown along with your teeth and gums. Dental crowns are not as strong as your original teeth and may fracture. So, try to avoid biting hard food objects.
Good oral hygiene is very important to protect the crown. Don’t forget that just because the tooth is crowned doesn’t mean it’s not prone to caries.
Crowns made of all porcelain or porcelain fused to metal can sometimes chip off. On the other side gold alloy and metal crowns are very strong and durable.