3 Factors To Consider When Choosing Dental Crowns
A cracked, broken, or otherwise-compromised tooth needs some serious reinforcement if you intend to keep it, and in many cases, such reinforcement takes the form of dental crown treatment. But receiving dental crowns isn't as straightforward as sitting back in the dentist's chair and opening wide. You'll want to have a chat with your dental practitioner about specific details of your restoration options before you go forward with treatment. Here are three of the factors that deserve careful consideration.
1. Crowns vs. Other Restorations
As you may already know, the world of restorative dentistry offers a variety of options for fixing or replacing teeth, from bonding and veneers to implants, bridges, and dentures. Where do dental crowns fit into this menu of possibilities? Crowns are most commonly prescribed for a tooth that has sustained so much damage that it runs the risk of fracturing. Root canals, for instance, leave enormous holes in teeth, weakening their structure. Dental crowns cover gaps that might otherwise open the door to infection, while also strengthening the remaining enamel. Crowns are also placed on the teeth that anchor each end of a dental bridge, and to serve as the artificial teeth attached to metal implants. But if you only need to fill a superficial crack or chip on a front tooth, bonding or veneers can do that job.
2. Choice of Material
Once upon a time, gold and silver might have been your only choices for crowns. However, modern dental technologies have introduced a number of additional options, some of which are indistinguishable at a glance from genuine tooth enamel. Each material has its own pros and cons. Examples include the following:
- Metal - Gold, silver, and other metals can add their own kind of dazzle to your smile, although they're mostly used for molars these days (due to their extreme strength). They can make your teeth sensitive to temperature changes.
- Ceramic or porcelain - These materials look like natural teeth, making them a good choice for those highly visible front teeth, but they are less durable than metal crowns.
- Ceramic-on-metal - Ceramic crowns reinforced by a metal base combine convincing looks and durability, but sometimes the metal base can introduce discoloration at the gum line.
- Ceramic/porcelain composite - This "pressed ceramic" option offers strength and a natural appearance to rival ceramic-on-metal.
3. Traditional Crowns vs. Same-Day Crowns
If you don't like the traditional multi-stage process of tooth preparations, impressions, fabrications, and fittings associated with regular dental crowns, you may want to seek out a dentist who offers same-day crowns. A combination of laser scanning and near-instant crown fabrication can give you the restoration you want within a matter of hours. The downside is that same-day crowns limit you to using plain ceramic. Additionally, same-day crowns don't always fit in with the rest of your smile as flawlessly as traditional crowns, which can be adjusted as needed for optimal results.
Ask your dental professional about dental crowns and related restorations. Whatever procedure or technique you need to reclaim your brilliant smile, you can have it done!