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Dental Crowns /Caps

What are Dental Crowns?

The tooth-shaped dental caps that are placed over a tooth to cover it are called Dental Crowns. They help restore and retain the tooth’s shape, size and strength and also its appearance.
Once covered, these dental crowns are cemented into place, fully covering the tooth that is visible above the gum line.

When are Dental Crowns needed?

Dental crowns are usually required for dental issues like:

  • After Root canal therapy
  • To protect a weak tooth from breakage or holding the broken pieces together. The cause of weakening of the teeth is usually tooth decay.
  • To restore a broken tooth or a severely worn down tooth.
  • To cover and support a tooth with large filling if the natural tooth is not left.
  • To hold a dental bridge in position.
  • To cover odd-shaped or discoloured teeth.
  • To cover existing dental implants.
  • To perform a cosmetic modification.
  • To protect a child’s teeth from tooth decay, particularly for children who have difficulty in oral hygiene practices.

Types of Dental Crowns

The patient can choose the different types of Dental Crowns depending on their preferences:

  • Stainless Steel
    These are prefabricated dental crowns. They are used temporarily used on permanent teeth. This type of dental crown usually covers the whole teeth and also protects it from the risk of decay. This type of crowns is usually preferred for children.
  • Full Metal
    This type of dental crowns constitute of alloys consisting of high concentration of gold, platinum or base metal alloys.  They are strong and will be able to withstand both chewing and biting forces. They are long-lasting and durable. They are usually preferred for molars as they are hidden.
  • Porcelain Fused To Metal
    Also known as Metal ceramic crown, this type of dental crown can be color matched with the patient’s adjacent teeth. They are used for either front or back teeth, including bridges where the strength of the metal is required.
  • All Resin
    Dental crowns made of resins are the most economical ones but they do tend to wear out faster and are prone to fractures during the function. Like chewing food or biting.
  • All Ceramic
    Also known as metal free crown this type of dental crowns gives the natural colour of the teeth. For aesthetic and functional purposes the all ceramic crowns are preferred today. They are an essential alternative in patients suffering from metal allergies. They can be used for both front and back teeth. With advancement in ceramic technology, the strength and aesthetic quality of the All ceramic crowns have improved. They are today the first choice for crowns.
  • Temporary and Permanent:
    The dental clinics themselves can manufacture temporary dental crowns while permanent dental crowns have to be prepared in a dental lab. Temporary crowns are made using either acrylic-based material or stainless steel. They are usually used as a temporary restoration device, unlike permanent crowns. They are placed on the prepared teeth until the permanent crowns are prepared in the lab.

Dental Crowns Procedure

The patient’s tooth is first examined by the dentist and then the tooth is prepared for the insertion of the dental crown.

The roots of the tooth where the crowns have to be fixed and the bone under it will be then examined using X-rays. The dentist might recommend root canal therapy if there is a risk of infection in the tooth’s pulp. The dentist will then place a temporary crown to prevent further infection till the permanent crown is made available.

The dentist will remove the temporary crown when the permanent dental crown is available. Then the new permanent dental crown will be fixed and cemented into place.

Authored by DR.NIRANJAN P



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