Dental Crowns Explained

It was the Etruscans, way back in 700 BC, who first pioneered the use of the dental crown! Fast forward to the early part of the 20th century and the dental crown begins to take the form we recognize today.

We can be glad that dental technology has moved on, but today, the sheer variety of dental crown materials can leave some people feeling bamboozled. What is a dental crown? What is a dental crown made of?

Let’s take a closer look at the materials used in a dental crown so you can choose the right type for you.

Metal Crowns

The first modern dental crown was made of metal or porcelain. Crowns are like hats for teeth. They completely cover the remaining part of a natural tooth to provide complete protection.

Today, you can get metal crowns made from gold, palladium, chromium, or nickel. They continue to be popular with some people for a number of reasons.

Advantages of Metal Crowns

Firstly, they’re very strong and hard-wearing. We may not think about it, but when we bite and chew, we exert massive forces on our teeth. Metal is up to the task and wears down at a very slow rate.

With a metal crown, the dentist can remove less of the natural tooth.

Disadvantages of Metal Crowns

One of the disadvantages of a metal crown is that some people are allergic to them. An allergy to gold is very rare, but allergies to other metals, particularly nickel, are more common.

Whatever metal they are made from, patients have the same complaint: they don’t look like real teeth. In fact, that’s an understatement. Some people are still happy to have them for a back tooth (molar) crown, but most prefer an alternative material.

Thankfully, dental technology has moved on. There are high-strength yet very natural-looking alternatives. No need for unsightly metal, unless you particularly love the gold tooth look.

A Word on Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns

These crowns take advantage of the benefits of both materials to form a hard-wearing crown that has been popular for some time. They can be matched to the color of your natural teeth.

However, they can produce a dark line at the bottom of the crown, where the metal part shows through. This is a look that many find unattractive. They can also cause other teeth to wear more quickly.

Porcelain and Ceramic Crowns

Porcelain, a type of ceramic, is the most popular choice for realistic-looking crowns. In the past, the term “porcelain crowns” often referred to porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Now, very strong all-porcelain and all-ceramic crowns are available.

Dental porcelain and dental ceramic are similar, but not exactly the same. Pressed ceramic crowns have a core of very strong ceramic with an outer porcelain shell, which takes the place of metal in older style crowns.

Advantages of Porcelain and Ceramic Crowns

The biggest advantage of porcelain and ceramic crowns is their appealing appearance. Both types can be closely matched to the color and appearance of your natural teeth. This makes them perfect for front teeth.

More and more people choose porcelain and ceramic, no matter the tooth they are replacing. They are not quite as hard-wearing as metal, but with proper care, they should last over 25 years.

Porcelain and ceramic crowns that contain no metal are also perfect for those with metal allergies.

Disadvantages of Porcelain and Ceramic Crowns

The main disadvantage of porcelain and ceramic crowns is that they are slightly more prone to cracks and chips than metal crowns. However, they are still very strong and should last for decades with proper care.

Other Types of Crowns

While metal, porcelain, and ceramic are the most popular materials used in dental crowns, they are not the only options. Some other options include:

All-Resin Crowns

These crowns are less expensive than other types. They are made of a hard-wearing type of plastic. They look good, but the downside is they do not last as long as other materials.

Expect to replace resin crowns every five to 10 years.

Zirconia Crowns

A recent breakthrough, zirconia crowns are extremely strong. However, they are not as natural-looking as porcelain crowns. It is possible to get zirconia crowns that are topped with porcelain for a more natural look.

Zirconia is also great for people with metal allergies, as it is very unlikely to cause an allergic reaction.

Same Day Crowns

Many of us associate crowns with several visits to the dentist’s office. Under normal circumstances, the dentist takes an impression and sends it off to the lab. The lab then makes the crown and you return for another appointment to have it fitted.

This means the dentist has to fit a temporary crown in the meantime, which is not ideal. The best solution would be a same day dental service. This would mean having the crown made and fitted all in one session.

We’re happy to say that time has come! The solution is E4D crowns.

What is an E4D crown?

Using same day E4D crown restoration technology, Dr. Lang can make your ceramic crowns right in our office. These crowns are custom-made, using CAD/CAM technology.

Same day crowns completely remove the step of having a temporary crown. Temporary crowns can be uncomfortable due to it not fitting well, and they can cause wear to other teeth. Thankfully, your dentist can make and fit E4D crowns in a single session, giving you full protection straight away.

E4D crowns also save you money. There are the obvious savings of no second appointment or a temporary crown to pay for. But additionally, E4D crowns last longer than traditional crowns. This provides you with a cost reduction in the long run.

They also mean much less disruption to your schedule and comfort from day one.

How much do dental crowns cost?

On average, porcelain and zirconia dental crowns will cost more than metal crowns.

When deciding what type of crown is right for you, consider how long it will last. It is often better to spend more up front on a higher-quality crown. It will provide better service, and you will need to replace it less often than one of lower quality.

Choosing the Right Crown for You

The right crown will look natural, feel comfortable, and last for decades. Now, advances in dental technology mean that everyone can get crowns that look great and can stand the test of time.

Whichever of these crown materials you’re interested in, Dr. Steven A. Lang and his team are ready to assist you. The same day E4D crown restoration system could mean you can complete your smile makeover in a single visit.

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