The most regal of dental work, crowns used to be called caps, and they’re just what they sound like: a crown or cap that’s put over a tooth which has been specially shaped by your dentist. Teeth may need a crown for a variety of reasons, whether it’s restoration after trauma (like a chipped tooth or too much wear from grinding), a better appearance or to make a tooth bigger that simply ended up being the runt of the litter.
First, the tooth is prepared by Dr. Glerum who carefully shapes it to best fit the crown. Next, the crown is secured with a special dental cement. In the end, only the crown can be seen, and it’s perfectly crafted to match your whitest white and complement the rest of your teeth.
In addition to building a tooth up after trauma and sheer aesthetics, crowns also may be recommended to help secure a dental bridge or implant. They offer extra protection for teeth with big fillings. Crowns can also keep a cracked tooth in one piece or safeguard it from excessive decay. Children might also need crowns to help keep teeth that are beyond the help that fillings can provide.
Choosing Your Crown Jewel
Crowns are available in a variety of materials, and each has its benefits. For permanent crowns, you can choose from metals (including stainless steel or gold), resin, porcelain or ceramic. However, the stainless steel option is usually temporary while a permanent crown is being made. This option is effective and cheap, but not that attractive. It is highly recommended for children whose baby teeth need protection until the permanent tooth emerges. Other types of metals, like gold and palladium, offer great protection, minimal wear and they’re highly durable. Some people like the color and some don’t, but they’re recommended for back teeth that don’t show when you talk or smile.
Porcelain options are fused to metal and are handcrafted to match your teeth. Keep in mind that porcelain can break just like real teeth, but it’s actually a stronger material than teeth — in the battle of porcelain vs. tooth, porcelain always wins. This makes it a no-go for patients who grind their teeth or have an imperfect bite. Plus, over time the metal can show beneath porcelain, due to simple wear or gum recession. A different option might be all porcelain or all ceramic, which is a better match for your tooth color, but it’s not as durable. However, they’re a favorite for front teeth because of the aesthetics.
Making the Call
It’s not painful or even uncomfortable to have a crown put on, and it usually only requires two appointments — one to shape the tooth and create a temporary crown, and another for the permanent crown to be placed. Permanent crowns can (and should) be treated just like your real teeth. To find out if dental crowns are for you, contact Dr. Karen Glerum’s Boynton Beach Dental Office at (561) 374-8922 and schedule a consultation.