A crown is a full tooth cover restoration that is placed over a cracked, broken, root filled or a heavily filled tooth to protect the tooth against fracture. Some people refer to dental crowns as caps. Dental crowns are similar in shape and shade to dental veneers except that crowns cover all the surfaces of a tooth whereas veneers only cover the visible outside surface of the tooth.
All Ceramic Crown – Cosmetically these crowns look the best and are usually indicated for front teeth. These crowns have no grey metal inside them, so if in time the gum recedes, there will be no grey metal margin on show around the crown. At Pearl dental clinic we offer single visit CEREC ceramic crowns for those patients looking for aesthetic crowns that can be carried out in a single visit.
Strength wise, depending on the type of the crown, most of the ceramic crowns are as strong as the conventional crowns. An example of this would be Zirconium containing crowns that have a tooth coloured Zirconium core with porcelain on top.
Metal Ceramic Crown – These crowns have a metal core inside and porcelain bonded to their outside. The core inside can be made from precious, semi-precious or non-precious metals and it provides the strength behind these crowns. However the porcelain bonded to the metal cores is not very strong and from time to time can fracture.
Metal Ceramic crowns are usually used on back teeth although some dentists use them for front teeth as well. The aesthetics of Metal Ceramic crowns is not as good as all ceramic crowns, however their strength is higher.
All Zirconium Crowns – These crowns look yellow/brown in colour and are usually used for back teeth. These crowns have no porcelain, so the risk of fracture is less than all ceramic and metal ceramic crowns but as they have no porcelain, their aesthetics is compromised compared to all ceramic and metal ceramic crowns.
In terms of tooth reduction these crowns need minimal tooth reduction and are less damaging to the tooth as less tooth tissue is removed for their construction. All Zirconium crowns are ideal for situations where gold crowns historically have been the best option.
Gold Crowns – These crowns are the strongest crowns available but are poor from an aesthetic point of view. They are usually used for back teeth especially in people who suffer from grinding and clenching habits.
Gold crowns can be made very thin and as such need minimal tooth reduction and are less destructive of tooth tissue compared to metal ceramic and all ceramic crowns.
Dental crown longevity depends on how well they are maintained. With good maintenance crowns can last around 7-15 years.