A dental bridge is a prosthetic device that is used to literally bridge the gap between two teeth. Bridges are primarily used to hold artificial teeth in place by cementing a crown on the two healthy teeth on both sides of the missing tooth. The anchoring teeth are known as abutments and the false tooth…
Different Types of Crowns and When They Should be Used
There are different types of crowns that can be used to restore a damaged tooth. Depending on your particular needs, the dentist will guide you so that you can pick a crown that is just right. Different types of crowns have different attributes. The type of crown that you end up with will depend on whether you value aesthetics, whether you grind your teeth or whether you react badly to metals. To figure out the kind of crown that will work for you, let us have a look at each type of dental cap and what they were designed for.
Different types of crowns
1. Gold crowns
The very first dental crowns were made of gold alloys. Because gold is soft, it is combined with other metals to make an alloy that can withstand the stress of chewing, which is why gold crowns are never made of pure gold. Since most metals can handle the stress of chewing and grinding, only a thin sheet of gold alloy is used to make a gold crown. This means only a minimal amount of enamel is removed from a tooth in preparation for the crown. Gold is an inert (noble) metal that rarely reacts with living tissue, so the chances of the patient's immune system reacting negatively to a gold crown are rather slim. The only major drawback of gold crowns is that they do not look natural. They also cost more than the other options.
2. Base metal crowns
These crowns may be made of not-so-expensive metals, but they are as tough and as durable as gold crowns. Unfortunately, the odds of the patient's immune system reacting negatively are much higher.
3. Stainless steel crowns
These prefabricated crowns are commonly used to cover the damaged milk teeth of young children. They are used as a temporary way to protect the milk teeth in order to prevent them from decaying and falling out earlier than they should.
4. Zirconia-based porcelain crowns
Zirconia is a ceramic material derived from the metal Zirconium. It can be white or transparent and is easily stained to match the color of patients' teeth. This makes Zirconia-based crowns aesthetically pleasing as a dental restoration.
Because of its metallic nature, Zirconia is super strong, so crowns made from this material can be thin and still withstand the stress of grinding and chewing. Zirconia is used as an inner base for porcelain crowns. The ceramic and metallic nature of zirconia makes this type of crown strong, good looking and an option for people with metal allergies.
5. Metal-based porcelain crowns
These crowns have an inner layer that is made of metal, which acts as a base for the outer porcelain layer. These crowns combine the strength of metal with the aesthetic of porcelain. However, the metal is sometimes visible at the base of the crown, right next to the gum. In addition, the metal can stain the gum it sits on. This means that this type of crown should not be used on people who have bad reactions to metals.
6. Porcelain crowns
These are made of tooth-colored porcelain and are therefore very popular for cosmetic treatments. Porcelain crowns are also a good option for people with metal allergies. A drawback of these crowns is that they are weaker than metal crowns, which means that they can chip when subjected to the stress that comes with chewing hard foods. In order to withstand grinding and chewing, porcelain crowns are made thick. This means that more of the tooth enamel must be removed so that the crown can fit properly.
7. Dental resin crowns
These are tooth-colored restorations that are the most affordable of all the crowns. However, they are also the weakest type of dental crown.
How to choose a crown
- If a patient wants cosmetic restorations or has a bad reaction to metals, then the dentist will recommend a porcelain, resin or zirconium crown
- A person who grinds their teeth should choose a gold or base-metal crown
- If the dentist has access to cutting-edge treatments, they may recommend a zirconium crown, which has the benefits of both metal and non-metal crowns
- A patient who wants a strong crown that will last a lifetime should choose one made of gold or base metals
- A patient who wants to combine the aesthetic of porcelain and the strength of metal should choose a metal-based porcelain crown
- A patient who needs crowns to anchor metal bridges should choose crowns made of strong materials like metals or zirconia
- Young children whose milk teeth need protecting should be fitted with stainless steel crowns
Which type will you choose?
The dentist will help you choose the dental crown that best suits your needs. If you need a dental crown, contact one of our dentists and find the perfect crown.
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