Dental Crowns: Your Comprehensive Guide to Types, Procedure, and Care

A beautiful smile not only boosts your confidence but also enhances your overall appearance. Yet, sometimes, our teeth might require a little extra help to maintain their pleasant aesthetics, functionality and health. Dental crowns are one such solution, often recommended by dentists to preserve, support and improve the appearance of a weakened or damaged tooth. As a patient, it helps to understand how dental crowns can benefit your oral health, the different types available, what to expect during the procedure, and how to care for them.

At Holden Dental Arts, we take pride in offering expert dental care, ensuring our patients are well-informed throughout their entire dental journey. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll introduce you to the world of dental crowns, helping you make an informed decision about this restorative treatment.

In the upcoming sections of this article, we’ll dive deeper into the different types of crowns, the step-by-step procedure, potential risks, and essential care tips to keep your crowns looking and functioning at their best.

Types of Dental Crowns

Each person may have different preferences and needs, with various factors such as location, strength, and budget affecting the choice of dental crown. Below are four common types of dental crowns, along with their advantages and disadvantages.

  1. Metal Crowns: These crowns are made of alloys including gold, nickel, chromium, or cobalt. While they are not visually appealing, metal crowns are considered the most durable and long-lasting. They are a good choice for back teeth that aren’t easily visible, as they can withstand heavy chewing pressure without causing excessive wear to the opposing teeth.
  2. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns (PFM): Combining the benefits of both materials, PFM crowns have a metal base for strength and porcelain outer layer for aesthetics. They closely resemble the appearance of natural teeth, which makes them more visually appealing than metal crowns. However, wear and tear can cause the metal base to become visible, which may not be aesthetically pleasing for some patients.
  3. All-Ceramic Crowns: All-ceramic crowns are made entirely of porcelain, ceramic, or other tooth-colored materials. These crowns provide the most natural appearance, making them ideal for front teeth and patients with metal allergies. However, they tend to be less durable than metal or PFM crowns and may be more susceptible to cracks or chips.
  4. Resin Crowns: These crowns are made of dental-grade composite resin, giving them a natural appearance. Resin crowns are more affordable compared to other options but may wear down or chip more easily.

Dental Crown Procedure: What to Expect

The process of placing a dental crown typically requires two visits. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Preparation and Tooth Impressions: During the first appointment, the dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area surrounding the tooth. They will then remove any decay and carefully reshape the tooth to accommodate the crown. Next, impressions of the prepared tooth are taken, which are sent to a dental laboratory to create your custom crown. Before leaving the clinic, the dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth and maintain its appearance.
  2. Placement of the Permanent Crown: During the second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown, clean the tooth, and carefully affix the permanent crown using dental cement. They’ll check the fit and bite to ensure proper alignment and comfort, making any necessary adjustments.

Potential Risks and Complications

Although dental crown placement is generally considered a safe and effective treatment, it’s essential to be aware of potential risks and complications, such as:

  1. Tooth Sensitivity: Some patients may experience tooth sensitivity, particularly to hot and cold stimuli. This usually subsides after the procedure, but if it persists, consult your dentist.
  2. Loose Crown: Over time, the dental cement holding the crown in place may weaken, causing the crown to loosen. In case this happens, consult your dentist to ensure correct reattachment or replacement.
  3. Chipped or Broken Crown: Like natural teeth, dental crowns can chip or break, especially if made from less-durable materials like porcelain or resin. If the damage is minor, your dentist may be able to repair the crown, but severe damage may require a full replacement.
  4. Infection: Although rare, a tooth with a dental crown can still develop an infection if bacteria access the inner part of the tooth through a crack or leak at the crown’s edge. Regular dental check-ups can help detect and treat such issues promptly.

Caring for Your Dental Crown

Your dental crown may be artificial, but taking good care of it ensures longevity and good oral health. Here are a few tips to maintain your dental crown:

  1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene: Regular brushing and flossing are essential to keep both natural teeth and crowns healthy and clean, preventing gum disease and decay.
  2. Avoid Hard or Sticky Foods: Consuming hard or sticky foods can cause crowns to crack or loosen. Be cautious while eating foods such as nuts, candies, or ice.
  3. Wear a Mouthguard: If you grind your teeth or engage in contact sports, wearing a mouthguard will protect your dental crown from potential damage.
  4. Regular Dental Check-ups: Schedule routine dental appointments for professional cleanings and examinations. This allows your dentist to detect any issues with your dental crown and address them early.

Final Thoughts

Dental crowns are an effective and popular solution to restore damaged or decayed teeth, enhancing the overall appearance and functionality of your smile. Understanding the types, procedures, and care requirements of dental crowns can help you make an informed decision and effectively manage your oral health.

If you believe dental crowns in Holden may be the right solution for you, consult with the experts at Holden Dental Arts to discuss your options and develop a personalized treatment plan!