What Are The Different Types Of Dental Crowns?
A dental crown or ‘cap’ is a prosthetic dental covering that sits over the top of your existing tooth or implant. The crown is cemented in place by a dentist or a prosthodontist, and acts the same as a normal ‘real’ tooth would act in everyday use. You may need to have a dental crown put in for many different reasons – it could be to cover a dental implant, replace a broken or worn-down tooth, cover a discoloured tooth, protect a weak tooth or seal a tooth that has recently undergone root canal treatment. There are several different types of dental crowns, all made from different materials to suit your specific needs.
Ceramic and Porcelain
Ceramic dental crowns are mostly used to cap or replace front teeth, and possess a hard inner core. They are sometimes supplemented with an outer layer made of porcelain – porcelain is a material that is much easier to match with the colour of natural teeth than other materials, so it is a great choice for dental applications such as this. All-porcelain or all-ceramic crowns are a great choice for those who are allergic to metals commonly used in dental practice, but are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. This type of crown is also more likely to wear down the teeth opposite in the patient’s mouth than other metal based alternatives. Here at Gentle Dental, we use almost always use ceramic options for their strength and durability.
Metal crowns are the most durable solution for capping teeth. They are the least likely to break or chip, and generally last longer than the alternatives. Metals used for dental crowns include palladium, gold, chromium, copper and nickel among others. Metal crowns only require a small amount of the affected tooth to be removed before implementation, and can withstand the everyday force of chewing and biting without wearing down. The one major drawback of metal crowns is their colour, a factor which turns many off the material for front teeth and others that are clearly visible – this usually makes metal the ideal material for caps that are further back or out of plain sight in the patient’s mouth. Gold alloys – gold mixed with other metals such as copper or another metal – are used in some crowns for their durability. The properties in these metals mean that they are gentler on teeth, and don’t wear away so easily. Base metal alloys, e.g. alloys made from ‘non-noble’ metals, are the least corrosive crown material. They also require the smallest amount of the patient’s tooth to be removed before the crown is implanted.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are similar to all-porcelain crowns, except for the fact that they possess a wire metal frame inside the cap to support the implant. As a result, these crowns are very durable and can be matched to the colour of the teeth on either side of them. However, sometimes the wire frame can show through the tooth with age, appearing as a dark line within the tooth. Another drawback to porcelain-fused-to-metal is the fact that the porcelain can chip, necessitating a replacement or filling.
Full resin crowns are popular because they are the most cost effective option when it comes to dental crowns. However, they can wear down over time and are more likely to chip than porcelain-fused-to-metal or ceramic options.
Whatever your dental crown needs may be, we’re here to help you find the solution that’s right for your teeth. Whether you’re unsure if a dental crown treatment is right for you, or you’ve already made up your mind, we’d love to help. Come see us at our Wellington branch and take the first steps toward a smile you’ll love.
We’d love to help you find a dental crown that’s right for you. We do one visit treatments, so don’t hesitate to get in touch to find out more.