Crowns are generally used in cosmetic dentistry as a form of dental restoration and are fitted over the remaining part of the original tooth or used as a cap for dental implants.
Dental crowns are made of a variety of materials which include:
o porcelain (generally used for front teeth as a straight porcelain crown is very natural looking but they are not as strong as bonded crowns)
o porcelain bonded to metal
o ceramic crowns which have the appearance of porcelain and the strength of bonded so are suitable for any position in the mouth
o Gold Alloy, a very hard wearing crown that is available in gold or white.
Crowns are regularly used when teeth have been broken, have been severely destroyed through dental decay or are excessively worn. Crowns are molded in a dental laboratory and, unlike basic filings, act as strengtheners for what is left of the original teeth.
With more and more people turning to cosmetic dentistry to create a perfect smile crowns have become widely used for improving the appearance of healthy teeth. This is a practice that is not generally supported in the dental industry as a portion of the original tooth has to be ground away to enable the crown to be fitted in place.
When there is very little of the original tooth left it may be necessary to insert a post into the root canal and cement into place before fitting the crown. The post will add support and help the dental crown stay in place.
As dental crowns are formed in a laboratory to get a crown fitted requires 2 trips to the dentist. Initially your dentist will take an impression of your teeth and provide you with a temporary crown if required. The new crown will be fitted 1 – 2 weeks later and will be fixed into place using dental cement.
Crowns are made to match the exact color of your own teeth and will appear completely natural. You yourself may be aware of a crown for a few days after it is fitted but this will just be short term.
The life of a crown depends on the level of dental care. Many say a crown will last for 7 – 10 years but a well cared for crown can last a lot longer. Crowns are extremely hard wearing and durable but will not prevent further decay of the original tooth!
The cost of dental crowns is generally covered by dental insurance if they are used for recreational purposes. If you use any form of cosmetic dentistry, including dental crowns for appearance purposes you will normally have to cover the cost yourself.
A single dental crown will cost between $ 500 and $ 1,100 depending on restorative requirements and the materials used.