At some point in your life, you may need a dental crown. A crown can be used to protect your teeth from decay, to strengthen weak teeth, to cover a tooth that has a large filling, to restore a broken tooth, or even to hold a dental bridge in place. Dental crowns serve many purposes, which is why there are different types of dental crowns.
The crown is made by taking an impression of the tooth that needs to be covered. The crown will not be ready immediately, so you may need a temporary crown. When the permanent crown is ready, it will be cemented into place. They are also sometimes referred to as dental caps.
Exploring the 6 Different Types of Dental Crowns
There are six basic types of dental crowns, or more accurately – six different types of materials that can be used to make dental crowns. This includes the following:
- Porcelain and metal
- Gold alloys (including palladium)
- Base metal alloys (such as nickel or chromium)
- Stainless steel
Ceramic crowns are not the most durable crowns, but they do offer a more natural color than the other options. They are also useful for people that have allergies to the other materials. Since ceramic crowns are not as durable, they can wear down over time. Though, they can still be a good choice for front teeth.
Porcelain and Metal Crowns
Porcelain fused to metal is another option. They are more durable than ceramic crowns and offer the second-best match for natural teeth. But, they are also prone to chipping or breaking. Sometimes, a dark line can appear where the metal is fused to the porcelain.
Gold Alloy Dental Crowns
Gold alloy dental crowns are incredibly durable. The only downside to gold alloy dental crowns is that they are noticeable if place up front. This is why they are a common option for teeth that are out-of-sight, such as the teeth towards the back of your mouth.
Base Metal Alloy Dental Crowns
Base metal alloy dental crowns share the same advantages as gold alloy crowns. Though, they are sometimes more affordable than gold alloy crowns. Still, they are highly durable and unlikely to wear with regular use. Less tooth structure is needed when you choose gold alloy or base metal alloy dental crowns.
Stainless Steel Dental Crowns
Stainless steel crowns are often used for temporary crowns. This includes temporary crowns for children’s teeth. When a primary tooth becomes damaged and a crown is needed, a stainless steel crown provides a simple solution. This way, the child does not need to revisit the dentist. The tooth will come out as the adult tooth makes its way to the surface.
All-Resin Dental Crowns
Another option is all-resin dental crowns. These are the most affordable, yet the least durable. They are sometimes used for temporary crowns. But, stainless steel remains the most used temporary dental crown.
Choosing the Right Type of Dental Crown
Your dentist will help you choose the right type of dental crown. But, you at least have a general idea of the benefits of each type. All-resin is the least durable, more affordable option. They are suitable for back teeth and other teeth that are hard to see. Stainless steel is easy to prepare, making it a good choice for temporary crowns.
Gold alloy and base metal alloy dental crowns are the most durable and the most noticeable. They should be placed in the back of the mouth. Porcelain fused to metal and ceramic is the closest to matching your natural teeth. They are generally used for front teeth, where the tooth is more prominent.
The Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Crowns
What is the difference between temporary and permanent crowns? As mentioned, temporary crowns can be fitted at the dentist’s office. They are generally made from stainless steel and sometimes acrylic. The temporary crown is removed by your dentist when the permanent crown is ready.
The permanent crown is made in a dental laboratory. This can take anywhere from one day to a week or two, depending on whether the lab is in-house or it needs to be sent off to a different location. Once the permanent tooth is ready, it is cemented in place by your dentist. Only a dentist can remove crowns.
Do You Need a Crown?
Whether or not you need a crown is a decision that is best left to your dentist. If they feel that a crown is necessary, you should listen to their advice. As discussed earlier, there are many different reasons for needing a crown. They can protect your teeth from further damage or restore the condition of your teeth.
If you suspect that you need a dental crown, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist. After a thorough dental exam, they will be able to provide their recommendation.
About the Author – This guest article is a contribution of Paul Murphy on behalf of Thantakit Dental Center. If you’re on the lookout for dental crowns in Bangkok, a visit to Thantakit Dental Center is highly recommended.