Over the years, our teeth may wear down and become damaged or decayed. Dentists can treat tooth enamel that has chipped, cracked or decayed with a variety of dental treatment options, including bonding, veneers and crowns. Typically, a dentist may recommend a dental crown when there is extensive structural damage to the surface of the tooth but the tooth’s root remains intact.
A tooth crown is a dental restoration that covers and protects a damaged tooth. More precisely dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance.
The teeth crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. Since dental crowns encase the entire visible aspect of a tooth, a dental crown in effect becomes the tooth’s new outer surface.
People choose to have dental crowns for a number of reasons. In some cases people who for whatever reason have not taken care of their teeth for whatever reason may have decay that has permanently eroded parts of their teeth.
Your cosmetic dentist will usually be able to spot problem areas in your mouth that might lead to tooth damage and a need for crowns. Chewing patterns play a big role as well. By selectively grinding the tips of your middle and back teeth (called cusps) will alter your bite to reduce the stress on at-risk teeth.
In other instances, crowns are used to replace a actual missing tooth. These crowns are anchored to the teeth on either side, with a bridge section connecting the two crowns. Instead of bridges, single tooth dental implants may be used that eliminate the need for supporting the crowns.
Dental crowns, thus reversing the appearance of decay, can repair this erosion. In other cases, an accident such as an athletic mishap and render a smile damaged, crowns can also be used to fix this problem.
The strengthening capability of dental crowns is related to the fact that they cup over and encase the tooth on which they are placed. This means that a crown can act as a splint that binds a tooth together.
Dental Crown Procedure
At the first visit, your dentist may take a few X-rays to check the roots of the tooth receiving the crown and surrounding bone. If there is extensive tooth decay and a chance of infection, many dentists will recommend performing a root canal (also known as endodontic treatment) before proceeding with the dental crown procedure. A root canal is not always necessary before dental crown work, and is usually evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Your cosmetic dentist will make an impression of the tooth and a dental laboratory will create the crown. You will typically leave the office with a temporary crown to wear while the permanent crown is being made this takes about two weeks.
Dentists usually discuss the available dental crown options with the patient before beginning the procedure. The options include gold dental crowns, porcelain dental crowns and porcelain fused-to-metal dental crowns. The main factors in deciding what type of tooth crown to use are cost, aesthetics and the strength of the dental crown needed.
The permanent dental crown is then cemented onto your tooth. Typically, only two visits are required for this part of the procedure. Often, a preliminary restoration of your tooth may be needed before a crown can be placed. To stabilize your tooth, a filling must first be put in place prior to placing a crown due to the loss of original tooth structure. Tooth crowns usually last ten to fifteen years.
There are also a host of different materials you can choose from for your dental crowns. The most popular ones are:
- Metals These could include gold alloy and other base metal alloys. Metal dental crowns are by far the toughest. They can withstand daily wear and tear and they rarely break or chip. The only real drawback is that they look like metal and not a naturally white tooth.
- Porcelain These have most of the structural strength of a metal dental crown but the porcelain aspect of them makes sure that they look like a normal tooth. Of course the porcelain is slightly more prone to chipping, but they are still tough.
- All Resin These are the least expensive for o crowns. Naturally, though like most inexpensive things they do not last as long as other types of crowns.
- All Porcelain These are the best looking crowns, and probably the best bet for your money. You have more strength than the resin based, much of the strength of the metal crowns, but they look like real teeth.
Alternatives to Dental Crowns
If a root-filled tooth is not completely broken down, it may be possible to build it up again using filling material. This ‘core’ is then prepared in the same ways a natural tooth and the impressions are taken.
But in fact, there is no other dental restoration that covers over a tooth in the same fashion that a dental crown does, and for this reason there really is no perfectly equivalent alternative treatment to the placement of a crown.
The researchers concluded that if a substantial portion of the variation noted in this study indeed stems from dentists’ idiosyncratic use of crowns, the profession has a clear indication of the need to improve knowledge of treatment outcomes among practitioners. Since there is substantial disagreement about the relative life expectancies of crowns vs. their alternatives, the researchers conclude that more outcomes effectiveness research is needed, given the wide difference in the costs of alternative treatments.
Crowns won’t protect teeth and gums from all types of future damage. Even though a crown covers the tooth to the gum line, cavities are still possible. To avoid this risk, people should still floss, brush and get fluoride treatments
Tooth Crown Cost
Porcelain crowns are typically more expensive because they are more aesthetically pleasing, and they require more skill and time from the dental laboratory to create them. In addition, the cost of dental crown procedures also depends on the number of times a patient visits the dentist’s office for treatment.
The new reinforced resin or bonded all-porcelain type costs more than other types, require more skill from your dentist and the lab, and may exceed your insurance plan coverage for crowns.
Generally speaking, the price of tooth crowns increases with the number of in-office treatments required by the patient. Dental insurance does not typically cover all the costs of the tooth crown procedure.
The price of a dental crown procedure can vary by region, dentist, type of crown and other factors. To give an estimated range, the average cost of a dental crown can range from $500 to $2,300 per tooth.
In Hungarian dental clinic PruDent dental crown can cost only $360 per tooth, it’s great reason to travel in Hungary for teeth treatment. They give a special discount of 15-20% for the first 50 patients in May and June and July – to have a nice summer smile :). PruDent Hungary in Mosonmagyarovar has just opened its dental services centre based on more than 15 years of experience of dental and dental technician practice. Those patients who chose PruDent centre will be receiving the highest level of professional services that meet their expectations. They can easily be reached on the highway from the airports of three capital cities – Budapest, Vienna and Bratislava.