A crown is a prosthetic device that can be cemented onto a surrounding implant or natural tooth structure. The primary function of a crown is to cover an implant, a damaged tooth or a tooth that has recently undergone root canal therapy. Also referred to as caps, dental crowns have both functional and aesthetic benefits. When used to cover severely damaged teeth or teeth in which the tooth pulp has been removed, crowns can both protect and preserve the underlying tooth structure. When used to cover weak, chipped or stain teeth, they can also brighten, balance and enhance the smile. Following is everything you need to know about the different types of dental crowns that are currently available, along with tips for choosing the best crown type for you.
Understanding The Benefits Of Dental Crowns
When placed by a competent dentist and properly maintained, dental crowns can last for a very long time. Crowns have been used by many dental providers to create a solid and well-balanced occlusion or bite, improve the shape, size and alignment of the teeth and protect them after root canal therapy, impact injuries and other forms of stress or harm. At their best, they’re attractive, difficult to distinguish from the surrounding natural teeth, and capable of performing or enhancing the function of a weakened tooth.
There are four, basic crown types that patients and their providers can choose from. Each of the four types of dental crowns have their own benefits and drawbacks. Moreover, certain crown types may be better-suited to some individuals and circumstances than others. A reputable and competent dentist will be able to help you find the best crown type for your budget, your needs, and your oral health and cosmetic goals.
Types of Dental Crowns
Comprised of a durable, porcelain-based material, ceramic crowns are commonly used in the restoration of the front teeth. Dentists and patients prefer ceramic caps in this location given their ability to seamlessly blend with the color and overall appearance of natural tooth structures.
Crowns made from porcelain fused to metal:
Crowns made from porcelain fused to metal are considered significantly stronger than ceramic crowns and as a result, somewhat superior as well. This however, is primarily true in terms of their overall durability. In terms of aesthetics, they are not the first choice when looking for a cap that will blend inconspicuously with the front teeth. Connected to a metal underlay, porcelain-fused metal cap bond better with the natural teeth than do ceramic caps.
Layered zirconia crowns:
Layered zirconia crowns are hailed for having greater flexural and overall strength than all-ceramic caps. They also provide optimal aesthetic benefits given that they are unlikely to develop problems with gingival graying or black lines. These are often recommended in instances in which metal cores, tooth discoloration, and implant abutments must be concealed.
Gold alloy crowns are comprised of a mixture of copper, gold and other, lesser metals. Not only do these crowns bond firmly to the natural teeth, but they do not cause any significant wear and tear to these underlying structures in the process. Given their noticeable color, these are typically used at the back of the mouth where they are unlikely to be seen. The primary drawback of gold alloy improvements is that these procedures are rarely covered in part or in full by most basic, dental health plans and the materials used can be significantly more costly than those use in ceramic, base metal alloys or porcelain fused to metal caps.
Base metal alloy crowns:
Base metal alloy crowns are comprised of corrosion-resistant, non-noble metals. These make very strong crowns. For many consumers, this option is the most cost-effective solution to a damaged tooth or one that has recently had the tooth pulp removed. Crown placement procedures that involve base metal alloy caps are often fully covered by dental insurance plans. One of the greatest benefits in using these types of dental crowns, however, lies in the fact that they require the least amount of healthy tooth for placement. Thus, they are ideal for use in instances in which much of the natural tooth structure has chipped or actually broken off.
At Easton Dentists, Dr. Glimer and our experienced team know what is best for your teeth, especially if a crown is involved. If you have any questions or are ready to schedule your next visit to, contact our office, and our team will be happy to assist you in any way we can!