Your teeth reflect both your health and especially your eating habits. If you take care of them regularly and make visits to the dentist, your teeth will be strong and shiny.
If, with age, teeth begin to lose their functionality or aesthetic properties, the most common and practical solution is dental crowns. What they are, when they are needed or to whom the dental crowns are addressed: in detail in this article.
If you have one or more missing teeth and do not want a dental implant, or you have one or more severely damaged teeth, a dental crown is the best solution for you.
With the evolution of technology, both the materials of which the crowns and dental bridges are composed, as well as the methods of realization, ensure the naturalness of the smile without problems of biocompatibility and without pain.
Over time, your teeth can be damaged. This can happen for a number of reasons, such as tooth decay, injury, or just time use. Your teeth may lose their shape or size. Dental crowns are “caps” in the shape of teeth that can be placed over the tooth. Think of it as a hat suitable for the tooth. The crown restores the shape, size, strength and appearance of the tooth.
What is a dental crown?
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A dental crown is a “coating” that is applied over a ground tooth or over a tooth pivot. The crown has a shape and size similar to a natural tooth and tries to restore the functionality, aesthetics and strength that the tooth had before being crowned, or even to improve these functions for teeth that did not have them.
Basically, the dental crown is cemented in place of the teeth and covers the visible portion of the tooth. They are divided into several types of dental crowns depending on the material from which it is made, how much it covers the tooth, or how long the treatment is.
When do you need a dental crown?
The dental crown comes to the rescue in several situations, for example:
- Protects a weak tooth from breaking or helps keep a weak tooth in place if parts of it are cracked.
- Repairs a broken tooth or severely worn tooth.
- Covering and supporting a tooth with a large filling and little remaining tooth.
- Holding a dental bridge in place.
- Covering deformed or severely discolored teeth.
- Coating a dental implant.
- Covering a tooth that has been treated with a root canal
- If more than 50% of the teeth are destroyed due to advanced caries
- Following a canal treatment
- When teeth are discolored or have various colors that cannot be remedied by teeth whitening.
The benefits of the dental crown
- A missing tooth can be replaced with a dental crown (by making a dental bridge)
- Severely damaged teeth can be recovered
- Prevents the migration of neighboring teeth if a tooth is missing.
- Gives the look and color of a natural tooth
- Regaining masticatory efficiency
Disadvantages of the dental crown
Disadvantages can only be found in the case of poorer quality dental crowns such as composite or acrylic, their strength being questionable. Also, metal crowns do not provide a high level of aesthetics, and the accommodation of the patient can be more difficult.
Some types of dental crowns
Artificial dental crowns, which are divided into:
- Partial crowns, which cover only part of the tooth, often remain exposed a portion of the tooth in the vicinity of the gum.
- total crowns that completely cover the visible portion of the tooth;
- there are “solo” crowns (independent elements) or solidified crowns (glued together, forming a multi-identical work).
Depending on the lifespan and the purpose for which they are used, crowns can be temporary or permanent.
Temporary crowns are made of acrylic or composite materials, reinforced or not with a metal frame inside. They represent an intermediate stage in the treatment, are used until the final crowns are made or until there is an indication or the conditions for the final crowns are met.
They have an aesthetic (most common) and functional role (help mastication, restore intermaxillary relations, maintain interdental spaces or probe various possibilities to identify as accurately as possible how to make the final crowns.
Temporary crowns are light, fragile, without much resistance over time. They can be worn for several days to several months, depending on their purpose and what the doctor indicates.
Definitive crowns are those that are cemented in the long term over the dental abutment or pivot. They are made of stronger materials, more varied in possibilities. There have been several types of permanent crowns over time that have remained “historical”, in our times there are more common types of crowns:
- Metal-ceramic crown
- Integral zirconium or zirconium-ceramic crown
- All-ceramic crown
Dental crowns are chosen according to the particularities of the medical case first and then taking into account the patient’s choice. With proper hygiene – careful brushing of teeth, flossing and mouthwash – the lifespan of a ceramic crown can exceed 15 years.
So, a visit to the dentist and you will choose together a solution that will really change your life!
Can crowns be put on baby teeth?
Contrary to popular belief, the dental crown is not just for adults. Our children’s teeth are much more prone to cavities than adult teeth. This is especially true if the little ones eat too much sweets or drink sugary carbonated drinks.
Of course, oral hygiene also matters, which we all know, when we are little, is not a priority. But we, the parents, must take care that the little one forms a constant habit: to take care of the teeth.
As I said, tooth decay affects baby teeth much more easily in a child, and if a tooth is severely affected by tooth decay, a dental crown can be used.
How do cavities manifest in children?
Because the enamel layer in children is thinner than that of an adult, caries will be able to form much more easily. The tooth nerve is located inside the tooth, in the pulp chamber. This chamber is much larger than the volume of the tooth, and because of this, (plus the fact that the enamel is thin), a caries will dig very quickly into the tooth, thus reaching the nerve endings.
When you reach this point, hot food or cold drinks will cause you more and more discomfort.
If the little one complains of pain when eating or enjoying an ice cream, until you get to the dentist, you can look for yourself, to remove other symptoms, such as canker sores. However, there is a chance that you will not be able to see if there are decayed teeth, as some cavities are between or behind the teeth. When cavities are not visible, an x-ray is needed.
In any case, it is best to pay us a visit from the beginning because early diagnosis and treatment of caries can prevent complications, but also the pain that the little one may feel. Therefore, it is best not to postpone your visit to your dentist. The lower the caries and the filling, the better the chances of the treatment and the healthy tooth remaining.
What is the purpose of a dental crown in young children?
When the tooth is decayed, food or various microbes can enter the nerve, which can form an infection over time. Failure to take action will result in pain, sensitivity to food and drink, cold or hot, or an abscess. The abscess is extremely problematic, and a complication can be quite severe for you or your loved ones. Moreover, a decayed tooth will prevent the little ones from eating normally and even being able to speak correctly.
It is very important to make regular consultations with your dentist and not to delay the treatment of decayed teeth. Postponing treatment if the child has a caries can even lead to the career of the other teeth, and ultimately to their loss.
Temporary baby teeth should be kept for as long as necessary – until the adult teeth will erupt. This is important in terms of the space required for the correct alignment of the teeth on the arch.
Therefore, when the temporary teeth fall “prematurely” or develop other problems, such as a broken tooth, we may encounter situations in which the other teeth will migrate, ie will twist. Worse, if this happens, and other teeth have to erupt on the arch, the new ones will grow in abnormal positions, and it will be necessary to wear a dental braces later.