Cosmetic dental crowns are designed to fit snugly over a worn or vulnerable tooth. They can be made from porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and even gold, but our goal is to provide you with the most natural looking restoration possible. When we’re finished with your procedure, we want you to feel comfortable sharing your smile openly and without anxiety.
In most cases, dentists can design, fit, and place your custom-made crown in just a few short office visits. When your crown is cemented into place, you’ll need to care for it as you would care for one of your natural teeth, with routine brushing and flossing. You should also visit dentist every six months for routine cleanings.
Advantages of Cosmetic Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns provide an adequate solution to a range of dental problems. They are able to:
- Support a tooth that has been significantly damaged by decay
- Protect a tooth that has worn away from being damaged further
- Protect a tooth after a root canal procedure
- Hold a severely cracked or broken tooth together
- Cover a dental implant
- Improve the appearance of a tooth by changing its shape or color
Dental crowns are a good long-term option because they are durable and usually last for at least 5-15 years, which increases patient satisfaction with the treatment.
Treatment with dental crowns has a high success rate with respect to either other dental restoration methods or no treatment at all. This has been supported by various scientific studies which researched their use.
Types of cosmetic dental crown
When it comes to cosmetic dental crowns, there are a few different crowns that your cosmetic dentist may ask you to consider. Types of cosmetic dental crowns include:
If the tooth is discolored or cracked, a porcelain crown can take care of the problem. The application of a porcelain crown, sometimes called capping, is used often by dentists in the fields of both cosmetic and general dentistry to solve tooth problems for their patients. Patients with an allergy to gold or any other metals are good candidates to receive an all-porcelain crown. Since porcelain crowns are made to match the color of your natural enamel, this makes them ideal for discreet, natural looking dental repairs.
In some cases, a person needs a crown for non-cosmetic reasons, such as a tooth being so damaged that it is painful to even eat or talk. This can happen if a tooth has cracked because it has worn over time, or it could be the result of an injury. In either case, having a porcelain crown will take away the pain and sensitivity of the broken or cracked tooth, restore functionality, and create a natural looking tooth.
Porcelain crowns also eliminate the dark gray line which is often visible where a traditional, metal-based crown meets the gum line. With all-porcelain crowns, these dark lines are a thing of the past; with no metal involved all you’ll see are beautiful, translucent, healthy teeth.
Porcelain Crowns types are:
- Leucite Reinforced Pressable Crowns (IPS Empress): Empress crowns were one of the first all-ceramic crowns to be introduced around 15 years ago. They are fabricated using a wax and press technique that results in a stronger core and better blending with the surrounding teeth. Their aesthetics make them a good choice for restoring visible teeth in the front of the mouth. Overall, Empress crowns are considered to be both durable and aesthetic, however they are not as strong as e.max crowns.
- Lithium Disilicate Crowns (IPS e.max): e.max crowns are about three times stronger than Empress crowns. They can be fabricated using the wax and press technique, as well as by being milled by a CAD/CAM machine. Its fabrication process also allows for the outer layering of porcelain, which gives the crown a natural appearance. However, this outer layer can be susceptible to chipping, especially in people who grind or clench their teeth. For this reason, single layer e.max crowns may be recommended for use in the back teeth or for those who grind or clench their teeth.
- Solid Zirconia: solid zirconia crowns are by far the strongest type of cosmetic crown and are often used to restore teeth towards the back of the mouth. They are milled using a CAD/CAM machine and are one of best-fitting dental crowns. This type of cosmetic crown is ideal for people who grind or clench their teeth, as zirconia crowns are virtually indestructible.
- High-Translucent Zirconia: Although HT zirconia crowns are not as strong as solid zirconia, they still provide enough strength to be used in the back of the mouth. However, this type of zirconia crown offers more translucency than solid zirconia and is best suited for use in the front of the mouth.
When it comes to choosing a cosmetic dental crown, one thing that will be considered is what zone the affected tooth falls in. There are two zones in the mouth: the aesthetic zone and the functional zone. The aesthetic zone represents the visible teeth that are in the front of the mouth. Generally speaking, aesthetics are prioritized for these teeth because they do not require the same type of strength as the back teeth. Teeth in the functional zone are those that are further back in the mouth and regularly undergo constant force from chewing and grinding up food. Therefore, these teeth usually require more functional crown options and will not prioritize aesthetics in the same way.
Overall, your cosmetic dentist will help you to consider your cosmetic crown options and will make recommendations based on the location of the affected tooth, your treatment goals, and whether or not you grind or clench your teeth. Both porcelain and zirconia crowns provide options that are durable and aesthetic, however they have slight differences that may make one option better than another for your individual case.
Disadvantages of Dental Crowns
However, there are also some disadvantages of dental crowns, such as the need to file the tooth into the right shape before the crown can be fitted, This is often extensive and irreversible.
Some patients may experience discomfort shortly after the procedure, particularly sensitivity to hot or cold. Using a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth when brushing can help to reduce this. Another issue is pain or sensitivity when biting down, which is most often caused by the crown being too high and obstructing the teeth on the opposite jaw. Fortunately, this can easily be remedied by adjusting the height of the crown.
Crowns may sometimes become chipped, particularly those made of porcelain. It is possible to repair small chips without removing the crown, while larger or multiple breaks in the crown may require its complete replacement.
In some patients, the dental cement used to hold the crown in place may wash away. This can cause the crown to become loose and allow bacteria to enter underneath the tooth, resulting in tooth decay. Occasionally the crown may fall off completely, usually due to the improper fit of the crown or the use of insufficient dental cement to hold the crown in place, requiring refitting or replacement of the crown.
Rarely, an allergic reaction may occur to porcelain or one of the metals used to form the crown.
Weighing Up the Advantages and Disadvantages
The risks and benefits of a dental crown should be considered for each patient to ensure that the best recommendation and procedure is followed for every individual.
As an example, a bridge with crowns is sturdier than removable partial dentures when the aim is to restore a missing tooth between healthy adjacent teeth. However, implants are now generally considered to be a better choice than crowns if the funds are available, because they do not affect the healthy adjacent teeth, and there is a lower risk of infection underneath the bridge.
Therefore, if a patient is able to pay for a dental implant, this may be the better option. If they would prefer a durable but cheaper option, dental crowns with a bridge may be the best option.
It is important to consider the purpose of the procedure and decide the appropriate course of action in the best interests of the patient.
Ways to Take Care of Your Cosmetic Dental Crown
One of the biggest benefits of crowns is their durability — with proper care, your new crowns can last for many years. The key is knowing what steps to take to prevent damage. Whether you have one or several crowns, following these five simple tips can help ensure your crowns provide you with years of beautiful smiles.
Avoid sticky and hard foods
Crowns are durable and strong, but they can still be damaged, just like your natural teeth. Chewing on ice or hard candies can chip, crack, or break your crown, which means you’ll need to have it replaced earlier than you normally would. Sticky or very chewy foods can also cause problems, either by weakening or loosening your crown or by causing sticky bits to get trapped between your crown and your gum. It’s best to avoid these foods when you can. Also, remember: The durable porcelain used to make your crown is designed to resist staining. That resistance also means it can’t be whitened like your natural teeth. Before having a crown applied, you might want to have a professional whitening treatment to make sure your crown matches your teeth when they look their best. Then, if you decide to have your teeth whitened in the future, your crown will still match and blend in beautifully.
Brush and floss to keep the tooth healthy
Your crown may be “artificial,” but the supporting tooth underneath still needs routine oral care to stay healthy and sound. Even though the crown extends over the entire tooth surface, you still need to brush the crown carefully to remove sticky plaque film and to keep the crown looking its best. And it’s also very important to floss since germs and food particles can still become trapped or caught between the crown and your gum or the neighboring tooth. When you have a temporary crown (before your permanent crown is put in place), you’ll be told to take care not to dislodge it when flossing. But your permanent crown adheres with a stronger dental cement so you can floss around your crown the same way you floss around your other teeth. Also, even though your tooth is covered by a crown, you may still have sensitivity issues when eating hot or cold foods (that’s normal). If your teeth are sensitive, it’s OK to use a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.
Kick your bad habits
Do you bite your nails? Chew on pencils, ice, or other hard objects? Grind your teeth when you’re stressed? Use your teeth for “tools” to open hard-to-budge bottle caps? Stop. Not only can these habits break your crowns, but they can break or chip your natural teeth as well. Plus, hard objects can splinter and get lodged between your gums or even damage your gums. If you’ve tried breaking these habits before with no success, now’s the time to double down. Not only will your teeth and gums thank you, but you can protect the investment in your new crown as well.
Use a night guard
It’s one thing to try to curb a grinding and clenching habit when you’re awake; at least then, you’re aware you’re doing it. The problem is, plenty of people grind and clench their teeth while they’re sleeping, which means they’re probably not even aware of it. Grinding and clenching might not seem like really serious problems, but over time, they can take a serious toll on your teeth. Just regular biting exerts about 200 pounds of pressure per square inch; with grinding and clenching, that pressure can increase significantly, and that means your crown is at an increased risk of breaking. dentist can tell if you have a grinding habit just by looking at your teeth and gums. And if you do, he can create a custom night guard to cushion your teeth and protect your crown while you sleep.
See the dentist regularly
Having routine checkups and cleanings every six months is important for making sure the gums surrounding the crown stay healthy and for keeping the supporting tooth healthy too. Plus, regular office visits allow dentist to check your crown to ensure it’s still “seated” and fitting properly so it continues to last for years.
Dental crown costs
Dental crowns tend to be more expensive than other direct tooth restorations, which may be an inhibitory factor for some patients. The cost depends on the material of the crown (porcelain crowns tend to be more expensive than gold crowns, for example).