• dental crowns

CHOOSING THE RIGHT DENTAL CROWN

Perhaps you are thinking of getting a tooth crown, or you wish to restore a damaged tooth, or maybe you wish to improve your smile without the use of invasive implant surgery. Whichever it could be, the important thing is that you need dental crowns or tooth caps.

Here, you will find every possible information you will need regarding tooth caps and dental crowns.

Table Of Content

Introduction

What Are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown is a covering, that is wholly shaped like a tooth, and it covers the visible part of the tooth. People can wear dental crowns for several reasons, such as:

  • Improving the cosmetic or aesthetic appearance of teeth
  • To restore a broken or damaged teeth
  • To cover up parts of a tooth that is missing due to tooth decay
  • To strengthen a weak tooth

Crowns are of different types and can be made from a variety of materials. Some can be designed to look like natural teeth, while some others can be metal coloured.

Previously, tooth extraction used to be the only way a damaged or decayed tooth was handled. But with the dental crown procedure, one does not have to worry about complete removal anymore— much of the tooth structure can still be saved with dental crowns, and the discomfort of tooth extraction can be avoided. The positive side to dental crowns is that they restore the whole tooth unlike a filling, which can only repair a portion of the tooth. Capped teeth look and feel just like a natural tooth.

Difference Between Tooth Crown And Tooth Cap

Tooth caps and tooth crown are being continuously used, and some people cannot help wonder if there is a difference between the two. The two terms mean the same thing— they are merely different terms or names for the same thing.

Dental or tooth caps is a less technical term for dental or tooth crown.  However, they both mean a whole tooth covering that is placed on top of a shaved down tooth. Both words can be used interchangeably and would make complete sense, as there is no difference between the two. Surprisingly, some people believe that dental crown is metal-coloured, while the dental cap has more of natural tooth colour. Note that such differences are not recognised, and are thus not used by the dentist.

Materials Used To Make Dental Crowns

There are three materials commonly used for making dental crowns.  They are

  • Porcelain or Zirconia

These materials, when used, end up producing dental crowns that match the natural teeth colour

  • Metal alloys

 These include platinum, gold, palladium and some non-precious metals including golden yellow, or silver white

  • Combination of Porcelain and Metal alloys

In this case, porcelain and metal are fused, with ceramic fused as well to the inner metal crown. It  is referred to as PFM crowns or otherwise called Porcelain-fused-to-metal

Before the permanent crown is ready, you will have to wear a temporary crown, that is likely to be a composite material or an acrylic material.

You should note that going for gold crowns will be more expensive than other materials. And it contains about 20 - 77% of pure gold — this is because the pure metal itself would be too soft to do the job, and as such, it will be combined with other metals to create a much stronger and durable gold alloy. A gold crown is understandably more expensive than non-precious metal alloys that contain cobalt, nickel and chromium.

Making The Right Choice Of Materials

Before your choice is carried out on the material you wish, you must understand that each of the materials has its benefits and vices. You will have to make your choice depending on the way you want them to look, how long you want them to last and which teeth to be capped.

Ceramic crowns look more like natural teeth because they are crafted in the lab, and are built up layer by, giving them the same translucent look like natural teeth. Because of this, they make great choices for front teeth. The negative side to this ceramic material is that it is very brittle, and are liable to chip or crack easily, even though they are reliable.

For gold crowns and other metal alloys, they are more durable and are biocompatible with teeth. This means there is no need to worry about reaction or rejection. However, the only problem people might have with this is the colour— It is pronounced, no matter its position in the mouth. Nonetheless, some people seem to be satisfied with the vibrant colours and will even go as far as having them engraved or studded with gemstones.

PFM crowns, on the other hand, are imbibed with the strength of metals and the aesthetic appearance of porcelain crowns. However, they do not look natural, and they also tend to chip or crack at the ceramic coatings, but the metal underneath will always remain intact.

Cost Of Dental Crowns

The price of a dental crown varies significantly from dentist to dentist, and from one location to another. There are things to consider before choosing a material for dental crown besides the price. Besides the fact that each material has its strength and weaknesses, you still need the recommendation of your dentist before you choose.

The material used for the dental crown plays a role in the price of the dental crown. However, it would not be a bad idea to compare prices between the different dentist, before you make your choice. At Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic in London, we offer fair and affordable charges to our patients. Visit us at Harley Street, London to get your dental crowns, or you can call us on 02071830755 to book an appointment.

Below is the comparison between the different materials used for dental crowns.

FEATURES Metal Crown Ceramic/Porcelain Crown PFM Crowns One -Day Cerec Crown

Cost

£250 - £600

£350 - £950

£300-£850

£385 - £800

Strength

Very strong

The least in terms of durability

Durable due to the metal inside

Same as porcelain

Durability

Long-lasting

Likely to crack or chip

Outer porcelain can chip

Same as porcelain

Aesthetics

Gold or silver coloured and very noticeable

Looks completely like natural teeth

Tooth coloured, but without natural teeth translucency

The natural look is not achieved due to its fast production

Other comments

Does not wear down on teeth

Can wear away other teeth it bites against

Can gradually wear away other teeth it bites against

Can gradually wear away other teeth it bites against

The prices are relatively fixed and is the same regardless of how many you are getting. However, you may be offered a slightly lower price by your dentist.

Reducing The Cost

With private insurance, some of the costs of the dental crown can be covered. However, you should check on the waiting period and the annual limits that may restrict your claim on the dental caps. It will also let you know how much you would end up paying. If there is a need for root canal treatment before the dental crown, you should check if it equally covered as well.

If the dental crowns merely for aesthetic appearance, you should consider veneers as well, although they may not be covered by insurance. Consult your dentist to find out which is most appropriate for you.

Is It Possible To Get Cheaper Dental Crowns Abroad?

It may be an excellent option to travel abroad for treatment; it depends on the number of crowns you wish to get. Some countries offer exceptional dental health service to lower costs — take time to discuss your options with your dentist.

The Process Of Capping A Tooth

First Visit: Preparation

Every procedure requires preparation, and for a dental crown, the process involves the dentist taking an X-ray of your mouth to be sure that your tooth can receive a crown — it is also an avenue for checking out if any underlying issues will require treatment.

Since dental crown requires removal of a significant amount of existing tooth enamel for the crown material to be securely fitted, to begin, the surrounding gum is numbed with an anaesthetic. Root canal therapy may be necessary at this point so that a better base for the cap can be created.

A lot of crowns need to be at least two millimetres thick all over so that they get the strength they need to last long. It means that the teeth will have to be trimmed by this much on all sides.

All traces of decay, as well as previous materials of fillings, will be removed, and if there is barely enough teeth tooth left to work with after this, then the dentist will have to rebuild it with a filling material. After this is completed, the top of the tooth will be tapered for it to be thinner, so that the tooth cap is easy slipped over it.

Afterwards, impressions will be taken so that the crown can be created to fit perfectly over it. It should take about 2 - 3 weeks to create a crown in the lab, but in the meantime, you will be provided with a temporary crown, made of acrylic or composite.

The temporary cap should blend with the natural colour of your teeth. However, its material will not be of the same quality as the permanent one. The shade of the crown can also be chosen at this point, as the whole visit should take about 45 minutes to an hour.

Second Visit: Fitting

This is where you visit your dentist for the fitting after the permanent crown is ready. The fitting process begins with the removal of the temporary cap. Sensitivity of the area is avoided by it been numbed—when the fitting has been carried out, dental cement is applied to the inside of the crown by the dentist and pressed down over your tooth.  If there is any excess, it will be scraped away.

The entire time for this second visit depends on the number of adjustments to be made before the crown is cemented.  However, it should take between 30 minutes to one hour.

If there is any problem with the shape or colour of the crown, you should let your dentist know before it is cemented. Otherwise, it will be difficult to correct, and you will have to live with it for a long time. It might feel strange after a while, but you will get used to it eventually. As long as there is no interference with your bite, you will be fine.

CEREC Crown Fitting

CEREC crown is an option that allows you to get a dental crown fitted in just one day. CEREC technology allows your dentist to create crowns in only one hour through digital scans that have been taken from your mouth. It is convenient for a lot of people, and many would be happy to undergo such a procedure and avoid multiple visits for another temporary crown.

CEREC crown is new, and as such, there is not much information or review on it. Notwithstanding, it is reported to be reliable, and it is an excellent option, even though it cannot match the natural look of porcelain crowns for your front teeth. The cost of CEREC crowns is the same as regular crowns because the dentist gets to pay a lot for the machine used to produce them.

Duration Of Capped Teeth

It has been established that the metal crown is stronger than other materials used in making crowns. However, even with its strength, a dental crown cannot last forever. At most with maintenance and good oral hygiene, your crown can last for 5 to 15 years, although some may last longer than others.

A study conducted in 2013 of 2,340 gold based PFM crowns showed that 97% of the gold-based PFM crowns lasted up to 10 years, while 85% was still reliable at 25 years of usage.

However, your dental crown  is due to be replaced if;

  • It becomes cracked or chipped, in case of ceramic
  • Decay sets in the tooth inside
  • It begins to wear down
  • Its aesthetic appearance diminishes.

The problem of teeth grinding or bruxism is a significant problem with dental crowns. It can cause the teeth to begin to wear down.

Caring For Capped Teeth

Temporary Crowns

As you wait for your permanent crown, you should endeavour to maintain the temporary dental crown you have on by;

  1. Staying away from sticky, hard or chewy foods —  it may pull the crown off
  2. Chew on the side of the mouth away from the crown, or only use the crown only to chew soft food
  3. When flossing, do not pull the floss out between the teeth, instead, slide it out sideways—  it will prevent the floss from catching on the side of the crown and removing it.

Permanent Dental Crowns

On the first day after your permanent dental crown is fitted. You may be advised to stay away from hard or chewy food so that the cement can set properly. Once it sets, it can be used as your regular teeth.  However, if anything seems out of place, report back to the dentist immediately. You should care for your crowns the same way you care for your natural teeth, by brushing twice daily and flossing regularly. You can use a water flosser if you are concerned about the floss getting stuck in your teeth.

Visit the dentist regularly to reduce the risk of gum recession or disease — report to your dentist immediately your crown chips or comes off totally. The damage will be assessed, and if possible, the crown will be replaced, provided there is no damage to it.

Dental crowns are procedures that can be gotten in a whim, and with Cosmetic Dentistry Clinic, you can be sure to get your dental crown fitted at an affordable price. Visit us on Harley Street, London or call us on 02071830755 to book an appointment today.