Broken or missing teeth and dental disease contribute to infection, failing health, and low self-esteem. Luckily, tooth crowns can fix all these problems. Tooth crowns are sometimes called “dental caps” or “porcelain jackets” and are one of the most common dental procedures. Here’s a closer look.
What Is a Tooth Crown?
A dental crown is a dental restoration, or cover, that slips over and fully covers an existing tooth that may be broken, cracked or otherwise damaged. A crown is permanently cemented or glued into place and becomes the tooth’s new outer surface. It functions and is cleaned the same as a natural tooth.
For instance, when a tooth needs a large filling, a cap can hold the tooth together. A crown can also be added between two teeth on a bridge. That improves your bite, your ability to chew food properly, and even your willingness to smile.
How Much Do Crowns Cost?
On average, crowns last between five and fifteen years. They cost between $800 to $1700 or more, but that’s worth it to avoid dental disease and stop teeth from shifting. Beyond that, you can’t put a cost on what not smiling (due to a bad tooth) does to one’s psyche.
How Do Crowns Work?
A tooth crown repairs and strengthens a damaged or worn tooth. Additionally, it can keep a weak tooth from breaking or hold together a cracked tooth. Sadly, unlike a broken bone, a broken tooth will never heal, but a crown improves the appearance of teeth and your smile. A crown can improve or restore a tooth’s shape, and appearance, but also correct alignment and improve bite.
What Are the Types of Crowns?
There are basically three kinds of dental crowns: all-metal, all-ceramic, and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM).
All-metal crowns are restorations made from gold or silver colored dental alloy. These last the longest and are known for their great strength and durability. Dentists have been using all metal crowns for over 100 years, but generally not on front teeth exposed for a smile. Usually, they’re used for back molars where the hard grinding takes place. Gold is the preferred metal, as it is easier to fit, is easier on other teeth, and lasts the longest with the least possible problems.
All-ceramic caps are made using porcelain or engineered dental ceramic. These are known for their superior aesthetics. They look ‘real’ and due to modern life-like translucency, all ceramic crowns make the most popular choice for restoring front teeth.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are porcelain covered metal and can provide both aesthetics and strength. PFMs have been used since the late 1950s have proven to be strong, long lasting, and natural looking. However, the metal beneath the porcelain can sometimes be seen as a dark line at the crown’s edge, and they can chip or even break.
Why Do You Need Crowns?
As we age, our teeth wear down. Sometimes, the only way to repair worn teeth is to have tooth crowns installed. Sadly, this often requires a number of crowns. That said, it is surely worth the effort to save your teeth, safeguard your bite, and keep your smile.
Why Not Just Pull the Offending Tooth?
Missing teeth are more than just unsightly, they open the mouth to decay, shifting teeth, and difficulty eating. Tooth decay is also a cause of bad breath, bad diet, and bad self-esteem. A tooth crown can positively change all that by removing decay, infection, and broken teeth.
If you think you need a tooth crown, we can help. Contact Walton Center for Family Dentistry today. We can help you decide if a crown is the right option for you.