- What is a dental crown?
- What does a dental crown look like?
- Types of dental crowns
- Crowns or veneers?
- Crowns and implants
- How much does a dental crown cost?
A dental crown helps patients restore a beautiful smile and normal bite function. It is used to repair a broken tooth, large cavities or unsightly discolouration. What should you know about dental crowns?
The crown is one of the main anatomical parts of the tooth, next to the neck and root. It is the most protruding part above the gum surface, covered with enamel. It is a key component in the processes of biting and chewing.
When a natural tooth is damaged, it can be replaced with an artificial insert. This prosthetic restoration is referred to as a dental crown. It is permanently attached for the purpose of aesthetic reconstruction and to restore the proper function of dental structures.
A dental crown is a great solution for problems such as:
- extensive tooth fractures;
- deep carious cavities;
- abnormal bite;
- teeth that are too small or deformed;
- improving smile aesthetics.
Dental crowns look like a cap, which is placed on the remains of the natural, prepared tooth. Their final appearance depends on the type of filling and the material used.
The best cosmetic effect is obtained with composite crowns, whose core is made of a strong material that ensures durability. The outer (front) surface is covered with a material with a colour that matches the patient's other teeth, most often ceramic or composite. With this solution, it is very difficult to tell if someone is wearing a crown on their teeth.
There are several ways to categorise dental crowns. The simplest way is according to the degree of coverage of the natural tooth. There are several types of crowns:
Partial crowns cover only part of the tooth. They are normally made of high-quality gold. This type of prosthetic restoration should be applied to vital teeth. Non-vital fragments are susceptible to unaesthetic discolouration. Partial crowns are attached in the space above the neck, so that they do not irritate the gums. Due to the price, availability of the material, and the uncertain cosmetic effect, they are currently rarely performed.
Protective crowns are the most common prosthetic procedure of this type. Artificial material completely covers the crown, reproducing the shape, function, size and appearance of the tooth. With the right contouring, regular oral hygiene does not cause any problems.
Full crowns are larger than protective crowns because they are primarily intended to rebuild a damaged physiological crown. They are also called peg teeth.
Dental crowns can also be categorised according to the material used to apply them. They are:
Protective crowns can be made of a single type of material or a mix. When only one material is used, it is usually metal or porcelain. This solution, however, poses problems: a metal crown is not as pleasing aesthetically, while a porcelain crown is fragile.
Acrylic, due to its poor strength, is only used as a temporary replacement.
By using several materials to build a prosthetic restoration, we are able to turn disadvantages into benefits. To line the outer part of a composite crown, acrylic, composites or ceramics are most often used, which provides an excellent aesthetic effect without compromising durability.
Developments in dental technology have brought many new ways of creating prosthetic restorations. Traditionally, crowns are made by moulding them in special forms. Modern methods use a 3D scanner and very accurate milling machines. If necessary, crowns can be veneered with porcelain by firing or pressing.
Veneers are thin shells made of acrylic, composite or porcelain. They are glued onto a specially prepared tooth from the front (outer) side. This is a great solution when we have healthy, but discoloured teeth, and want a bright white smile. Veneers will also be useful in covering small chips or cracks. Remember that they are attached to the outside of the teeth. They are not suitable if the problem concerns deeper layers or the internal bite area.
Dental crowns are a great solution for patients with deep carious cavities, large fractures or cracks. In this case, crowns will be more suitable than veneers in maintaining the proper functioning of the teeth. A dental crown placed on a tooth after root canal treatment is a great way to restore normal oral anatomy and physiology.
The main difference between an implant and a crown is how they are attached. When attaching a crown, part of your own tooth is preserved, while implants are inserted into the jawbone or mandible. The implant treatment costs more than the crown procedure, and also requires healing of the tissues around the gum (which makes the entire process longer). In return, we get a durable, strong prosthesis with solid support.
Implants are a better option for people who have lost a tooth together with its root, those without any teeth, not tolerating removable dentures, or without permanent teeth.
The price of the crown depends primarily on the material used in its application, but also on the city, additional consultations or visits, and the number of teeth treated. A porcelain crown with a metal base costs about PLN 600-700, while a full porcelain one costs PLN 1000. If using the more modern zirconium, the price increases by an additional PLN 200. The most expensive are implant-mounted crowns. In this case, we can expect to spend at least PLN 1,500.
Crown implantation procedures are not financed by the National Health Fund.
A dental crown is a great solution if you can save part of your own tooth. Restoring a normal bite is important to restoring normal chewing function and a beautiful smile, and at the same time protects the remaining teeth from damage.
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