Crowns cover the part of a tooth that lies below the border of the gum which becomes the tooth’s new outer surface once it’s cemented in place. There are three kinds of dental crowns, with each classified by its type of construction: all-metal, all-ceramic, and porcelain-fused metal.Crowns are fashioned to cover only one tooth or many teeth for the following reasons:
- Restoring teeth to their original shape and function. White crowns are applied by a dentist to naturally rebuild broken teeth to achieve a durable, long-lasting repair.
- Reinforcing Teeth. Some teeth, especially molars, may require a crown since it is a type of dental restoration that’s best able to withstand harder chewing forces. Teeth that have undergone a root canal treatment or any other fragile tooth, may benefit from a crown's reinforcing effect.
- Improving the teeth’s appearance. A white dental crown, such as porcelain-fused metal or porcelain can dramatically improve a tooth’s overall appearance in its shape, color and alignment.
A Porcelain-fused metal crown is colored the same as a natural tooth, which has the benefit of adding strength thanks to its metal base. On the downside, more of the tooth structure needs to be removed and can break or chip. This type of crown also allows a portion of the metal at the crown’s base to be visible at the gum line.
Porcelain – Porcelain is quickly becoming the most common dental restoration material used by dentist due to its great aesthetics. Unfortunately, it requires that a lot of the natural tooth be trimmed down as with a porcelain-fused metal crown and can fracture. On the positive side, it is the most versatile dental material to be used for any tooth without giving itself away as a crown.
Tooth Preparation for White Crown Applications
Tooth preparation for white crown applications involves shaving down the patient's tooth in thickness to achieve attractiveness and durability. The dentist will need to make an impression or a copy of the tooth that will be used to make its crown once the tooth has been properly shaped. The dentist will usually make a tooth impression using putty-like material (impress paste) that is pressed over the tooth and then allowed to set. The dentist could opt to take a picture of the tooth (optical impression) and feed the image into a computer as an alternative to the usual impression method.
Next, the dentist will check the crown’s fit on the tooth and in the way it meets neighboring and opposing teeth once the crown it’s made. The crown is then permanently cemented onto the patient’s natural tooth after any needed adjustments are made.
How Many Visits Does Crown Placement Take?
The outlined steps listed above usually are performed in two separate appointments and scheduled about two weeks apart. The patient is fitted with a short-term dental crown in the meantime.
A dental office that uses special equipment can mill the white dental crown out of a block of ceramic in about 20 minutes when an optical impression is taken. In this scenario, a tooth can be prepared and be cemented with an all-ceramic crown in just one dental visit.
Choosing the right material to be used for your crowns can be a difficult task. The best way to know which crown is right for you is to ask the advice of your dental expert who will give you the best options, the pros and cons of different types of crowns to fit your personal needs.
Important Things to Remember
Crown application requires that the decayed portion of your tooth’s as well as your tooth’s existing natural crown be removed to make room for its lab-fabricated counterpart. In addition, some dental crown are specifically designed for the back teeth or molars. Molars typically exert more pressure when you bite down and chew so this aspect needs to be discussed with your dentist when considering which crown material will suit this purpose.
Many patients like the idea of getting crowns that match their natural teeth. Since the crown will serve as the new structure for your outer tooth’s surface, it’s important that you choose a dental restoration material that you’ll be completely satisfied with. Moreover, some crowns are not prone to fracture while others aren’t. It’s important that crowns add strength to the tooth and should be considered for this purpose over their aesthetics. Patients getting crowns should also be aware that a whole new crown or set of crowns will have to be made (if they are glued in) if decide to change the color of their crown(s) to a lighter shade of white. This is because dental restorations are unaffected by teeth whitening methods.