Our smiles are important for many reasons, but perhaps more important than your smile is a healthy mouth. If you have worn down, cracked, discolored, decayed, or misshapen teeth, the chances are that your mouth isn’t as healthy as you would like it to be. Your dentist has most likely discussed restorative dentistry options with you, including one of dentistry’s most optimal solutions to damaged teeth: the dental crown.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown protects your tooth, improving the way it looks and restoring it to its normal shape, size, and function. Dentists recommend dental crowns for various reasons, but most often to:
- Protect a weak tooth, so it doesn’t crack or break.
- Restore a tooth that is already cracked or broken.
- Support a tooth that has a large filling.
- Support or cover a tooth that has had a root canal.
- Attach a bridge to replace missing teeth.
- Aesthetically improve a tooth that is misshapen or discolored.
- Cover a dental implant.
What are dental crowns made from?
When patients have questions about dental crowns, they often ask what materials they are made of. Dental crowns are made from a variety of materials, including ceramics, composite resin, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or metal alloys.
Patients sometimes select metal crowns to address teeth with large cavities or visible signs of wear and tear, but in most cases, these materials are visible and can make patients self-conscious. Some patients might select metal on back molars that aren’t as easy to see to take advantage of this material’s ability to withstand the day-to-day bite force.
Generally, most patients want a dental solution that blends in naturally with their adjacent teeth. For this reason, when your dentist creates your crown, they will ensure that the materials are colored to look like your natural teeth whenever possible. However, the final determination of the specific material used for your crown will depend on factors such as:
- Your tooth’s location and function.
- The position of your gum tissue.
- The amount of tooth that is visible when you smile.
- The shade or color of the teeth adjacent to the tooth that will be crowned.
Allred Family Dentistry offers crowns made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, zirconia porcelain, and full metal (gold, semi-precious).
Porcelain crowns are popular because they can best match your natural tooth color. Porcelain crowns are also a great option for patients who have metal allergies. Though these types of crowns aren’t as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, they are a good choice for your front teeth.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are a good choice for front or back teeth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are matched to the color of the teeth directly adjacent to where your crown will be placed, and have a more natural tooth color. However, occasionally the metal shows through as a dark line under the crown’s porcelain cap.
Zirconia porcelain crowns
Zirconia can be hard to match to the color of your natural teeth due to its opacity. But, a crown made of zirconia with a layer of porcelain provides a natural appearance that can easily match the color of your natural teeth. Not only is zirconia stronger than porcelain and some metal options, but it is durable and less likely to cause an allergic reaction.
Gold and semi-precious metals such as palladium, nickel, and chromium are often used for out-of-sight molars. Metal crowns rarely chip or break, have the best longevity in terms of wear down, and require only an insignificant amount of tooth removal. These crowns can also withstand biting and chewing forces. The primary drawback of metal crowns is the use of metal, which can be unsightly on teeth that show when you smile.
How much does a dental crown cost?
Prices for dental crowns can vary widely based on your particular dental situation and the type of material used. Gold crowns are often the least expensive, and porcelain or zirconia porcelain crowns are the most expensive. But as we have explained, the various uses for a dental crown often dictate the type of materials to be used and, thus, dictate the cost. The best way to find out how much a dental crown costs is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. Further, your dental insurance plan will often help cover all or a portion of your dental crown, making any option more affordable and less challenging for the pocketbook.
Need a dental crown procedure? Request an appointment today
If you have worn down, cracked, discolored, decayed, or misshapen teeth, it is time to see a dentist and discuss options to improve your smile and oral health. If you live or work near Griffin or Hampton, Georgia, schedule an appointment with Allred Family Dentistry. We will be happy to discuss the right dental crown for you and your situation.