Dental Crowns: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Them

Dental Crowns: Everything You Need to Know Before Getting Them

September 1, 2021

If you have weak, broken, cracked, and misshapen teeth, a dentist may recommend you get dental crowns near you. These are caps that encase the entire tooth and change its color, shape, size, and appearance.

What Are the Different Types of Crowns?

The dental crowns come in different types, and the dentist will choose a suitable option depending on preference, cost, and location of the teeth. The materials include:

  • Stainless steel

These are crowns that are prefabricated at the dental office. The crowns are used as a temporary measure as you wait for the permanent ones to be made. The stainless crowns also do not need the lengthy procedure used to get the crowns, making them ideal for children. The dentist will use the crowns on the primary teeth to protect them from decay and damage.

  • Metal crowns

The crowns are made of gold, titanium, or alloys with high levels of metals like cobalt or nickel-chromium. These caps are the most durable of all types and can withstand biting and chewing pressure. Furthermore, they have an odd color, and they are most suitable for the back teeth. The primary drawback of the crowns is the price as they are a bit costly than the rest.

  • Porcelain crowns

The porcelain crowns are tooth-colored and resemble your natural teeth. These caps are recommended for people who are allergic to metals. They are also stain-resistant and can last for a decade or more. But, they are as expensive as the metal crowns.

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns

The PFM crowns combine the durability of metal and the aesthetics of porcelain. The porcelain part is fixed on the teeth, while the metal part is used for support. Although these crowns resemble the teeth, the metal part can cause a dark line on the gums.

  • Resin crowns

Composite crowns are the least expensive. But, they are less durable, are prone to cracks and chips, and discolor faster than the rest.

When Are the Crowns Used?

A dentist near you may recommend dental crowns to correct a few dental imperfections like:

  • Weak teeth due to decay, fall, or trauma
  • Broken or severely damaged teeth
  • Cover a large tooth filling
  • Hold or cover dental restorations like bridges or implants
  • Misshapen, uneven, and irregular shaped teeth
  • Discolored teeth

The dentist may also use stainless steel crowns on the baby’s teeth to save damaged teeth or protect them from decay.

How Are the Dental Crowns Fixed?

Getting dental crowns in San Rafael requires at least two dental visits—the first for examination and preparation and the second one for fixing the caps.

  • First dental visit

On the first visit, our dentist in San Rafael will take an x-ray to check the roots of the teeth and the surrounding bone. If there is any decay or risk of infection, the dentist may first perform a root canal treatment.

Next, the dentist will anesthetize the gums and reshape the teeth along the chewing surface to make room for the crowns. The amount of tooth removed largely depends on the type of crown you choose or extend of the damage.

A paste is used to make an impression of the trimmed teeth and sent to the lab to craft the permanent crowns. It can take a few weeks to get the caps back, so the dentist will cover the reshaped teeth with temporary crowns to protect them from sensitivity.

  • Second dental visit

The dentist will examine the color and fit of the crown. The teeth are roughed, and a block of dental cement is used to hold the crowns in place.

How Long Do the Crowns Last?

How long the crowns last depend on the type you choose and how you care for the crowns. But, on average, the caps can last for about 15 years with proper care. It is important to care for the crowns by maintaining proper hygiene and avoiding clenching and grinding.

Schedule an Appointment

Visit San Rafael Dentistry, Peter Zahedi DMD, for more information about crowns and how they are fixed.