Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps placed over broken, worn, or chipped teeth to restore their shape, appearance, and function. They are an effective alternative to fillings or bonding to restore severely damaged teeth.
Dental crowns typically last about 15 years but can last up to 25 years. Although modern dental crowns are designed to strike a balance between appearance and durability, their lifespan can be impacted by wear and tear and poor hygiene practices, so avoid chewing hard food like ice and schedule regular dental cleanings to protect your smile.
Whether you’re deciding on a restorative procedure for a broken tooth or you’re considering a dental crown to improve your smile, schedule an appointment with Elevate Dental. After an initial consultation with one of our skilled dentists, we can determine if a dental crown procedure is the best treatment for your oral health situation.
Why You Might Need a Dental Crown Procedure?
Dental crowns are used to treat a variety of dental issues. Some of the reasons you might need a dental crown procedure include:
- Shielding a weakened or decayed tooth from further damage
- Restoring the look and functionality of a worn or broken tooth
- Protecting a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough of the natural tooth left
- Supporting a dental bridge
- Improving the appearance of misshapen or discoloured teeth
- Completing a dental implant restoration or root canal treatment
Types of Dental Crowns
There are different dental crowns, including gold, metal, and porcelain varieties. To cater to our patient’s oral health needs, smile goals, and budgets, we offer porcelain, gold, zirconia, and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) dental crowns.
Porcelain dental crowns
Porcelain crowns closely resemble natural teeth due to their translucent lustre. Porcelain can be fabricated and shaped with precision, ensuring your dental crown blends seamlessly with your smile.
However, porcelain is more vulnerable to chipping than metal or gold crowns, so they are used mostly for front teeth restorations.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) dental crowns
A PFM dental crown offers more stability and durability than an all-porcelain cap. The inner shell is usually made from either nickel, chromium, or cobalt, providing a secure bond to the underlying tooth. The visible outer layer is made from porcelain.
The downside to this type of dental crown is that the metal can become exposed if your gumlines begin to recede or if the crowns become damaged or worn over time. However, if the dental crown is in the back of your mouth, you are less likely to notice the metal.
Zirconia dental crowns
Zirconia dental crowns are made from zirconium dioxide, a durable ceramic material. Zirconia crowns are biocompatible and offer the same strength and longevity as metal alloy and PFM crowns.
Zirconia crowns can be more challenging to colour match than porcelain due to their opaque hue.
Gold alloy dental crowns
Gold alloy crowns have been used in dental repairs for thousands of years. They are extremely durable and resistant to breakage and chips. They are typically used for restorations on molars and premolars because they can withstand the intense bite pressure.
The Dental Crown Procedure
The process typically takes two to three visits for a permanent dental crown. If you require extensive preparatory work, it may take a little longer. The five key steps of a dental crown procedure are:
Examining your teeth and gums
An initial consultation is needed to examine the teeth, oral tissue, and bone around the area receiving the crown. Your dentist conducts a thorough oral examination, checking for signs of tooth decay, bone degradation, gum disease, and bacterial infection.
Preparing your teeth for dental crowns
If there is extensive damage or evidence of infection, your dentist may have to perform a root canal.
The tooth receiving the dental crown must be reshaped to accommodate the restoration. If your tooth is weakened from damage or decay, your dentist may apply a composite filling or bonding material to improve the tooth’s strength and stability before fitting the dental crown.
If you are missing more than half of your original tooth structure and undergoing root canal treatment, your dentist may add a dental post to help rebuild your tooth.
Taking dental impressions
Impressions help guide the crown fabrication process, ensuring your custom crown aligns with the contours of your existing teeth, gums, jawbone, and natural bite. Your impressions are sent to a dental laboratory for fabrication. This process typically takes around two weeks.
Fitting a temporary dental crown
Your dentist fits a temporary crown, protecting your tooth while you wait for your custom crown. Since a temporary crown is typically made from fragile plastics, it’s important to be careful when brushing, eating, and flossing to avoid accidentally dislodging it.
Completing the restoration
Your dental team will contact you when your custom crown is ready to arrange your final appointment. If you are happy with the crown’s colour and shape, your dentist removes the temporary crown and cements your permanent crown in place.
Your dentist then ensures that your crown fits firmly and securely. Immediately after fitting the permanent crown, you may experience mild discomfort and sensitivity, particularly if your tooth still has a nerve. However, this should subside after a few days.
Improve Your Quality of Life With Crowns From Elevate Dental
At Elevate Dental, we can help you regain confidence and improve your quality of life with high-quality dental crowns.
As an Australian Dental Association (ADA) member, you can rest assured that both our Melbourne clinics are accredited with the HDAA. For more information on dental crowns or to book a consultation with one of our dentists, call or submit an online appointment form.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
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