Tooth-shaped Dental Caps
A dental crown is the top of the tooth. Artificial dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps that are permanently cemented over the top of a prepared tooth to restore the tooth to normal function and appearance. A dental crown covers the visible tooth from its gum line to the top of the tooth. A crown can be cemented onto the tooth root or a dental implant abutment.
Types of Dental Crowns
There are generally three types of crowns:
- All-ceramic crown - A translucent cosmetic restoration that is primarily used for front teeth. This restoration looks like a natural tooth.
- Ceramic veneered to metal - A cosmetic restoration for visible teeth that require more strength than the all-ceramic restoration.
- Gold crowns - Gold and metal crowns are the strongest and durable. They are used on molars where chewing forces are the greatest.
Dental Crown Placement Procedure Time Frame
- Time to complete: Doc Kelly usually requires two dental visits to install a crown.
- 1st procedure visit: Doc Kelly prepares the tooth or dental implant for the crown. He makes an impression of the tooth and surrounding gum tissue. The dental impression is sent to a dental laboratory that fabricates the crown. Doc Kelly provides a temporary crown to cover the tooth until the permanent crown is ready.
- 2nd visit: Doc Kelly will replace the temporary crown with a permanent crown.
Life-expectancy of Dental Restorations
- All-ceramic crown restorations can last fifteen years or more.
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns can last up to twenty years or more.
- Gold dental crown can last thirty years or more.
The lifespan of a restoration depends on several factors such as the location of the tooth and how hard the patient is on the restoration.
Baby teeth hold the space and help guide the permanent teeth into position. Baby teeth are needed for a child's normal development of the jawbone and supporting muscles. If baby teeth become fractured due to trauma or decay, and multiple fillings are required on the tooth, a crown many be recommended instead of the fillings. The tooth can decay again, break or wear out, and then require a second restoration. A crown is more durable than a filling. It should last until the baby tooth is replaced by the adult tooth. In many cases, a crown is less expensive and less traumatic to the child.
Stainless Steel Crowns
Doc Kelly favors stainless steel crowns for restoring baby back teeth with extensive decay. Stainless steel crowns are the most durable and it will last until the baby tooth falls out.
NuSmile is a veneered stainless steel crown coated with a tooth-colored front. The NuSmile is ideal for restoring front baby teeth when the cosmetic appearance is a concern. The veneered tooth-colored crown can chip and hard foods should be avoided.