Dental crown - Types, Procedure, Advantages and dental crown Materials


What is a dental crown?

Dental crowns are the tooth cap placed on top of the damaged tooth. They also knew as teeth cap or tooth cap. When teeth are damaged and filling is not enough to protect the teeth, then dental cap is used to save the teeth.

What are the functions of dental crown?

  • Tooth crown save the teeth from extraction.
  • They play an important role in maintain aesthetic requirements of an individual.
  • Teeth are important for chewing. Dental cap restore the function of the damaged teeth and improve chewing efficiency.
  • Damaged teeth lose their shape and size, so the tooth crown resembles the shape of the teeth.
  • When a tooth cap is placed, it maintains tooth size, shape and appearance.

What are the reasons for a dental crown on a tooth?

  • Teeth with large filling require dental crown because the remaining tooth structure is less.
  • Some people have yellowish colored teeth due to anomalies, fluorosis, etc. in such cases tooth crown placement satisfies the esthetic demands of the patient.
  • Root canal treated teeth are brittle, so a dental crown is indicated to prevent teeth from fracture.
  • Dental crown is indicated after dental implant placement.
  • Teeth with severe attrition (dental wear) are best treated by teeth crown cap.
  • Tooth cap covers broken teeth.

What are the materials dental crown made of?

A dental cap is made up of metals, ceramic, zirconia, porcelain, composite resin or combination of materials.

While selecting the material for tooth crown, dentist consider many factors like the location of the teeth (front or back teeth), demand of the patients, expectations, smile, adjacent teeth, etc.

The colour of the dental crown is chosen based on the colour of the adjacent teeth.

What are the types of dental crown?

Tooth cap is of many types like:

Metal crown: 

These are made up of metal like palladium, nickel, chromium, etc. these tooth cap have high strength. But these are preferred for the posterior teeth as their metallic colour is the biggest drawback due to which they are not used in the front teeth.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crown: 

These tooth cap have similar colour to the natural teeth. They are a good choice for both front and back teeth.

All-resin dental crown: 

These are cheaper than other crown materials, but they wear with time and may break.

All-ceramic crown: 

These are the best dental crown, and they are usually indicated for the front teeth. They give good esthetic results and improve smile. Pressed ceramic dental crown have a good strength, and they are more lasting.

What is the procedure of the tooth crown placement?
  • Dentist perform intra oral examination to check the culprit teeth or carious teeth.
  • X-ray is done and explained to the patient.
  • Clinical photographs are taken for record maintenance.
  • Anaesthesia may or may not be given.
  • Carious part of the tooth is removed and cavity preparation is done. If tooth is indiacted for RCT, then tooth preparation is done after RCT.
  • A suitable impression material is used to take the impression of the tooth and temporary crown is placed.
  • The shade for tooth cap is selected so that it matches with the adjacent teeth.
  • The impression is sent to dental lab where the dental cap is prepared based on the selection by both patient and dentist.
  • Next appointment is scheduled after 5 to 7 days.
  • Patient is required to follow all the instructions told by the dentist.
  • In the next visit, the doctor evaluates the oral health status and the gingival health around the prepared teeth.
  • The dental cap is cemented via dental cement.
  • Occlusal evaluation is done.
  • Anti-inflammatory and painkiller may be prescribed.
  • Follow-up is scheduled after 7 days.
What are the points of care after tooth crown placement?
  • Practice a gentle way of brushing.
  • Ask your dentist for fluoride toothpaste if you experience sensitivity.
  • Correct flossing.
  • Avoid chewing hard food in the area where the dental crown is placed.
  • Do not clench your teeth.
  • Do not eat too hot or too cold, as directed by the dentist.
Are there any complications after tooth crown placement?

That completely depends upon the oral health and indications of the dental cap.

  • Initially for a few days after tooth crown placement, one may experience a feeling of discomfort but this should disappear after a week. If it does not go away, one must consult a dentist.
  • A dentist may prescribe some painkillers after a tooth crown.
  • After tooth crown placement, occlusal correction is done to adjust the height, if required, in the oral cavity.
  • The crown may chip off due to heavy occlusal load.
  • The tooth, over which the crown is placed, may appear to be sensitive for a few days. 
What are the advantages of dental crown?
  • Tooth crown help in maintaining a good oral hygiene.
  • A weak tooth should be protected because it may fracture under masticatory forces or crack, so such teeth are good indications for a dental crown.
Is there any alternate to dental crown?

Tooth cap are the best option when you are looking for good results. Tooth color fillings are available, but they may have several limitations. Like, large sized filling are at risk of fracture under the influence of masticatory forces.

If one is expecting long term results, then dental crown are the best option.

How long do crowns last on teeth?

Tooth crown last for 5 to 15 years. The success of the tooth cap depends solely on the patient. To achieve good results, regular follow-up dental visits, good oral hygiene, regular flossing, proper tooth brushing technique, willingness to maintain good oral hygiene are some of the important considerations which determine how long does a tooth crown last in the oral cavity.

Takeaway points:
  • A successful dental capping is the result of cooperation between the patient and the dentist.
  • Keep gums healthy.
  • Regular follow-up visit must be followed.
  • Scaling should be planned to remove plaque and calculus deposits if any around the dental cap and prevent gum inflammation.

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