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Dental Crowns – Uses and Types

June 7, 2013

Dental crowns are an artificial covering on the tooth sitting as a crown on the tooth and just above the gum.  Dental crowns have many uses, and fixing one is amongst the exclusive services you will get from a dental office.  Many dentists will recommend dental crowns for adult teeth and in some instance will recommend them for children. 



The Primary Uses of Dental Crowns


The teeth may need a dental crown in several situations.  The most common instance causing a dentist to recommend dental crowns is to protect a weak tooth from further decay and damage.  If tooth decay has extensively damaged a tooth and it is weak and brittle, a dentist will recommend a dental crown to protect the tooth from further breakage.  In other instances of such extensive damage where there is only a little of the original tooth left, the dental work may include covering the tooth filling with a crown to keep the filling firmly in place. 

Other reasons for using dental crowns in dental work are often cosmetic.  For instance, rather than carry out a tooth whitening procedure on a discolored as well as damaged tooth, a dentist may cover it with a dental crown.  Misshaped and misaligned teeth may also benefit with a new design and attractiveness from a crown. 



Dental Crown Metals 


There are various types of crowns and they all have a range in pricing depending on their metal and their near-natural look to natural human teeth.  The biting nature of teeth means that materials used to make dental crowns are hard enough to sustain the strength of a bite as a normal tooth would.  Therefore, the materials of dental crowns are primarily metals with steel, silver, and gold being the most common. 


When you see someone shining a golden or a silver tooth on a front row tooth, the tooth has a crown on for either cosmetic or medical reasons.  Most crowns made from metal are permanent and have a much longer shelf life and may well out-live their wearer and never need any replacement.  They bite almost as well as the original teeth and when fitted right are barely discernible in the mouth. 



Other Dental Crown Materials 


The most common alternative material for dental crowns is ceramic, which is a type of glass.  The primary disadvantage of ceramic crowns is they crumble easier with the daily wear and tear of chewing.  Whereas metallic crows can outlast the wearer, it is rare that a ceramic crown will last without requiring occasional repair.  Ceramic dental crowns tend to chip with time or much faster than their metallic equivalent.  They do have an advantage, particularly for cosmetic dental work, as they can look like natural teeth. 


They are therefore ideal for the front teeth because the front teeth do not chew and the crown will provide the cosmetic beauty.  Crowns are common amongst people who have dental work specifically done for cosmetic purposes.  The trend has an impact on these procedures often making them a costly undertaking.  However, a dentist will give important insight, as there are dental options available for you within your budget.

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