If the natural tooth crown is too badly damaged to restore its original shape with a filling or an inlay, artificial tooth crowns can be considered as dentures. If a tooth has already lost one or more cusps due to caries or an accident, a tooth crown can replace either the missing pieces or the entire visible part of the tooth.
Crowning an existing tooth requires that the tooth root is firmly anchored and the gums are intact. If, however, there is no longer a healthy substructure, dentist can also place crowns on implants or abutments. The tooth crown is modeled exactly on the original or the desired tooth shape so that the patient can then chew and bite optimally. Depending on the material and design, a tooth crown can be a very durable and aesthetic denture.
Areas of application for dental crowns
With crowns, dentists can not only rebuild and stabilize carious and broken teeth, but also correct certain misalignments that cannot be orthodontically treated. If, for example, the upper incisors are strongly forward, they grind the incisors and then place crowns in an aesthetic form on the stumps so that they straighten the dentition at the same time. A crown may be urgently needed for teeth that have undergone root canal treatment.
Because after an access has been drilled through the center of the tooth, there is an increased risk of breakage. Even if “grinders” who suffer from bruxism have grinded off large parts of their teeth during their nightly activity, crowns offer themselves as a stable and creak-proof replacement. Finally, dental crowns are a complement to other dentures, like bridges and partial dentures, indispensable. Because they serve as a fixture for the prosthesis and protect the still healthy tooth.
What types of crowns are there?
Crowns can be divided according to several criteria, namely according to their size, anchorage, color and type of material. Partial crowns and full crowns, which replace either one or more cusps or the entire tooth crown, differ on the basis of their extent. Metal crowns differ in color from those that are based on the natural tooth color.
Gluing and cementing are used for the type of anchoring, and there are also dental crowns with and without a post. If the root of the tooth is healthy, dentists can attach the crown directly to the tooth stump, but if the tooth is badly damaged, they first insert a pin into the root canal as a holder and attach the crown to it.
If you want to have a crown made, you should find out more about the possible materials. Even if high-quality dental crowns are expensive, the service life of a crown depends crucially on the material used. A higher investment therefore pays off in the long term.
What material should the tooth crown be made of?
When choosing the material, not only aesthetic factors play a role, but also the different loads on the teeth in the various areas of the jaw. While incisors are not used much, molars have to withstand greater resistance. On the other hand, the incisors are visible, while aesthetic aspects can tend to recede in the case of posterior molars.
The classic full cast crown, also known as a gold crown, consists either of a gold alloy, another precious metal alloy or of non-precious metal. Its advantages are that it is inexpensive, durable, stable and easy to manufacture. In addition, it allows a large part of the healthy tooth substance to exist, as it requires little space for its thin walls. The main disadvantage, however, is the strong visual deviation from the natural tooth color.