What Dental Crown Types Work Best?

Dental crowns act as a cover, or cap, over damaged teeth to restore their strength and structure. Over time, our teeth can chip, crack, or otherwise become compromised due to an injury, decay, or even simply wear and tear from everyday use. Applying one of several dental crown types is an excellent way to restore the tooth when a dental filling is not sufficient but an extraction is not necessary, while still maintaining the strength of your original teeth and preventing further decay or damage. The remaining natural tooth will be reshaped so that the crown fits over it perfectly, and then it’s cemented in place.

There are some alternatives to dental crowns. These include fillings if the decay affects a small enough area, partial crowns called onlays which only cover a portion of the tooth, veneers to cover imperfections, and tooth extraction followed up with giving the patient dentures or implants. So when, then, are dental crowns needed, and what are the options in terms of dental crown types?

When Are Dental Crowns Necessary?

There are several reasons why your dentist may suggest dental crowns. Teeth that have substantial decay, beyond what a filling can solve, may need a crown. In these cases, the decayed pulp or tissue is removed and then the crown seals everything inside to prevent future decay.

Another reason why dental crowns may be necessary could be due to a fracture. If you break a tooth and there isn’t enough structure left for bonding or veneers, a crown might be your best bet. The crown will act as a replacement on the top portion of the tooth, but can’t become weakened and won’t show the break.

Finally, if you need to have a bridge installed, it may be necessary to apply crowns on the neighboring teeth to provide support for the bridge.

What Dental Crown Types Are Available?

There are several different materials that can be used for dental crowns. In some cases, crowns may even be made of more than one material, such as a composite crown that has a metal base. The material your dentist decides to use generally depends on the patient’s budget, the most durable options given some specific factors about the patient including lifestyle and age, and which materials they have experience working with. Let’s look at some common crown materials.

Resin Dental Crowns

Resin crowns are made of non-toxic plastic. These crowns can be slightly more fragile than others, so they’re often used as a temporary solution until the patient can get something more permanent. Resin is also generally the most affordable crown type.

Gold Dental Crown Types

Gold crowns have been used for thousands of years, but have become a bit old-fashioned. Gold crowns don’t cause much damage to surrounding teeth and can be applied very thinly, meaning less of the original tooth has to be removed and the gold can fit into smaller gaps.

Ceramic Dental Crowns

Ceramic crowns don’t contain any metal, so they’re a great option for folks who have metal allergies or sensitivities. Ceramic crowns are also more resilient to temperature changes, so they can be excellent for those with teeth sensitivity to cold or hot.

One of the biggest benefits of ceramic crowns is that they generally look the most like natural teeth, so they blend in well and aren’t typically noticeable.

Bonded Porcelain Dental Crown Types

Bonded porcelain crowns have the natural look of ceramic but offer even more durability. Porcelain is used for the shape and outer surface of the tooth, while the interior of the crown is made of metal. The metal provides strength and durability, while the porcelain blends in beautifully with existing teeth.

Stainless Steel Dental Crowns

Stainless steel crowns are typically used strictly as a temporary measure. One of the most common applications is in children who still have their baby teeth. The crown is applied to the baby tooth and later on falls out naturally with the rest of the tooth, when the time is right.

Which Dental Crown Types Are the Best?

It’s important to remember that everyone’s case is different, so you should discuss the best options with your dentist. With that in mind, there are some generalizations about different dental crown types.

Gold crowns work well when there’s a very small gap to work with or if you need a very thin crown. Resin crowns are ideal for situations where you need a temporary, cost-effective crown or when you’re waiting for your permanent crown to be created.

Full ceramic crowns are best for patients who have allergies to metal or need a temperature-resistant option that blends in well. Bonded porcelain is great when you want the crown to look natural, but need some extra strength to support a hard-working tooth, like the front teeth or canines. Stainless steel crowns are another low-cost, temporary option, usually given to children who still have teeth to lose.

Contact Our Lakeland Office for Dental Crowns

If you think you may need to have a crown placed, please don’t hesitate to contact us right away. The sooner we can get you in and have a look at the compromised teeth, the sooner we can restore your smile! It’s important to resolve the issue before it has the chance to worsen and potentially cause full loss of the tooth.

Dr. Kawveh Nofallah at our Lakeland dental office is more than happy to assess your situation and help you decide which of the available dental crown types is best for you.

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