Updated: Jan 20, 2019
At The Gap Dental Practice, we are often asked about crowns as a form of treatment. In this article, we will look to answer some of the most common questions, including why crowns are used, what types of crown can be fitted, and the differences between the different types of crown.
What Are Crowns?
A crown is a tooth-shaped ‘cap’ used to cover a damaged tooth in need of repair or restoration. Crowns can be used to restore a tooth’s shape, size and strength, as well as improve its cosmetic appearance. They are often used when the damage to the tooth (or the decay) is deemed to be too considerable for it to be replaced by a filling or for other restoration methods to be used.
A Dental Crown May Be Used To:
Repair a decaying tooth
Support a dental bridge if a tooth is missing
Restore a broken or fractured tooth
Replace teeth (alongside dental implants)
Types of Crown Available:
There are four main types of crown available to suit any need or budget. Within these, various subtypes of crown are also available. Permanent tooth caps can be made from the following materials:
Base metal alloys
Highly bio-compatible with the gum tissue, gold alloy crowns are made from a mixture of gold, copper and other metals. They provide a strong bond to the tooth, they do not fracture, and they do not wear away the tooth itself.
By fusing the porcelain to a metal structure, a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown provides a stronger bond than porcelain alone, as well as a more durable crown.
They are a popular choice with patients because the colour of the crown can be matched to the colour of a natural tooth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can cause more wear to opposing teeth than all metal crowns, and there is also a chance that the porcelain will chip or break. However, the material is still strong and durable, and it provides a good seal to prevent decay and leakage.
Base Metal Alloys
Base metal alloy crowns often require the least amount of healthy tooth to be removed prior to fitting. Consisting of non-noble metals, they are highly resistant to corrosion, which makes the crown very strong. As the metals used are soft, they also do not damage opposing teeth while biting or grinding.
Made from porcelain-based material, ceramic crowns are a popular choice for restoring front teeth, as they blend in with the natural tooth colour.
However, ceramic or porcelain crowns are often not as strong as metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Your dentist may also need to remove more of the tooth structure.
If you are considering a crown fitting, or would like to learn more, please get in touch with The Gap Dental Practice. Call our dentists today on 07 3300 1277.