What are tooth crowns?

Dental crowns are in effect a form of implant that is designed to go over the top of a tooth and protect it. Aside from fillings, crowns are one of the most commonly performed dental procedures. It’s a procedure that’s relatively painless and well tolerated.

Often used to cover-up large dental cavities, the procedure for installing tooth crowns is quite major as it involves first cleaning the tooth and taking a dental impression. The dentist then creates an individual crown which can be made out of metal, porcelain or even gold, which is then cemented in place using dental cement.

While there are many medical (dental) reasons to choose tooth crowns, it’s also a service that’s used quite often to correct poorly shaped teeth and make them look more cosmetically appealing. The popularity of gold crowns and the likes speaks for themselves and while indeed, many dental crowns tend to be fairly expensive, basic crowns used for restorative dentistry i.e. to stop further decay / damage can be relatively inexpensive in comparison.

Today, dental crowns are used mostly to treat fractured teeth or to cover up a decayed tooth after it’s been treated with a dental root canal. In the event of a root canal, the dentist removes the top of the tooth and all the tissue inside the tooth, filling it with a dental filling. To finish the procedure, a crown is added to reinforce the tooth structure.

It’s a procedure that’s carried out worldwide and nowadays many dental crowns are made using computer aided design / modeling. As a result, it’s possible to create tooth crowns which are virtually an exact fit and almost invisible thanks to computer technology.  Dental crowns when fitted correctly can last well in excess of a decade – meaning that while they can be expensive, over time they really do pay for themselves.

Cosmetically, crowns are often used to repair smiles and fix major problems with teeth that weren’t fixed during child-hood. With the use of crowns, it’s possible to re-create the perfect smile and thanks to ceramic materials, that’s a glistening white smile that will last for decades with the right care.

When it comes to caring for tooth crowns it’s much like caring for your regular teeth. Regular cleaning and checkups are essential in preventing wear and discoloration. Just like plaque and tarter form on teeth, it can also form on your crown. Because of this, good dental hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of bacteria and infection.

Dentists use crowns to repair and protect teeth from all sorts of damage. From chipped teeth to root canals and even major cavities, crowns might be seen as being highly expensive, but they are an essential part of dentistry and they will protect your teeth against damage and decay. While it is indeed a major dental procedure because it involves altering the natural tooth so that a tooth crown can be fitted, it’s relatively painless and it can be done at any dentist’s practice.

Crowns are essentially prosthetic enhancements for damaged teeth. They are used not just to repair teeth that are decayed, fractured or weak, but also for cosmetic reasons to help people feel more confident about their smile. As a result, tooth crowning is perhaps one of the most popular services in private cosmetic dentistry. This service is also essential in ensuring the longevity of one’s teeth.

Typically, a crown is a cap that gets placed over the top of the tooth or even in some cases, the entire tooth. Usually, crowning involves a root canal and then the planning of the tooth to ensure that it’s ready to accept the new crown. Dentists then attach the crown using dental cement. Today, dental crowns are largely invisible and they really do last a long time. Despite the fact that for many, crowns are expensive, they can last decades.

Crowns protect teeth acting effectively as a shield. In the case of a root canal, the crown acts as a sealing lid, ensuring that bacteria and debris cannot get inside the tooth. It also ensures that teeth are ‘structurally sound’ as cracked / decayed teeth might very well fracture without support. While there are many cosmetic reasons for tooth crowning, there are indeed equally as many medically sound, dental reasons that this procedure needs to be performed.

For cosmetic reasons, crowns can be used in conjunction with dental implants to replace missing teeth; and also to reshape malformed teeth in attempts to give patients a normal looking set of teeth. In this role, dental crowns are indeed highly successful, and while the procedure is expensive, the end results most certainly are worth it.

Another alternative to crowning, which is proving to be more popular are dental veneers which follow a similar principle except veneers avoid the necessity to structurally alter the teeth. Because crowning involves drilling into the teeth, usually it’s only recommended when there is actually a valid medical reason as well.

Tooth crowning is actually a pretty complex procedure that takes some time. From the initial consultation where dental impressions will be taken to ensure a good fit, to the final fitting, it’s a process that can take weeks due to the fact that every crown is individual to the person’s mouth, to ensure that it is both a perfect fit and also practically invisible.

Much like a tooth, a dental crown must also be cared for regularly. Because the teeth that a crown protects is normally dead having been thoroughly cleaned out with a root canal, it’s important to follow good oral hygiene procedures and visit a dentist regularly so he or she can check that the crown and the tooth it supports is perfectly healthy.

Dental crowns offer people the chance to restore damaged, broken teeth and to regain their natural smile. With gold, porcelain various ceramic crowns available, dental crowning can be as much of a fashion statement as you want it to be. Basic, ‘invisible’ crowns are pretty affordable, whereas on the other hand, gold crowns tend to be highly expensive. Regardless, it’s a service that really is worthwhile and most definitely value for money.

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