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What are Dental Crowns? How long do they last?

Dental Crowns

You might have heard of Dental Crowns. But what are they actually? It is a method of installing a false dental veil on a damaged or broken tooth by reconstructing the part of the tooth surface that is visible from the outside. A dental crown works to improve its overall appearance, or provide additional support when tooth decay becomes so severe that the structure of the tooth becomes compromised, strengthens teeth that have been weakened by cracks or chips and protect them from further damage. It can be defined as a custom-made permanent restoration treatment. 

Dental crowns look like hollow, teeth-shaped caps placed over a prepared natural tooth. When cemented in place, crowns completely cover the entire visible portion of the tooth that lies at and above the gum line. Since the tooth can be restored through the crown up to the gum line, it is possible to reproduce the occlusal surface and geometry of the original tooth. These crowns can be constructed using a variety of materials like porcelain, zirconia, resin, ceramic, metals like gold or chromium or a combination of materials like porcelain and metal.


All-Porcelain Dental Crowns

All-porcelain or all-ceramic crown is the most commonly used dental crowns. For the front areas of the mouth, they can be used for purely cosmetic purposes-to close spaces, changing the shape, color and inclination of the teeth. It is used for the back areas of the mouth to reconstruct, reinforce and strengthen the weakened teeth to prevent them from splitting. These can also be a preferred choice for treatment of oral diseases in cases where patients have a history of damage due to clenching, grinding or acid reflux.  These crowns are much thinner in comparison to the traditional ones, giving the closest resemblance to a natural tooth and hence are a daily workflow in our practice using digital methods of fabrication. However, it cannot be discounted that they aren’t as strong and durable as porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns.

Porcelain-Fused-Metal Crowns

As the name suggests porcelain-fused-metal crown or PFM crown is a metal tooth crown covered with a thin layer of porcelain. In this method of treatment, the porcelain does not cover the bottom layer of the tooth. PFM crowns cannot transmit light through them because of the opaqueness of the metal, this can cause it to reflect through the porcelain and make them look slightly unnatural in appearance on a closer look. Nevertheless, these are far stronger than all-porcelain crowns.

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconium is a very strong and reliable substance that can tolerate wear of everyday use. Zirconia crowns typically cost more than other types of dental crowns as they are at least three times more durable than porcelain and PFM. They are capable of tolerating the forces of mastication and bruxism, withstanding wear and tear without chipping. They are also better than PFM from an aesthetic point of view.

What are temporary crowns?

A temporary crown is what it sounds like. It’s a crown that remains in your mouth for a short duration only. Your dentist will place it over your tooth with an adhesive that can be removed easily so it won’t be as strong as the permanent crown. It’s put in place as a substitute while you wait for the permanent crown to be made. 

What are onlays and 3/4th crowns?

These are a type of indirect restoration, which means they are made outside of the mouth as a single, solid piece that fits the specific size and shape of the cavity. Onlays and 3/4th crowns are restorative prostheses that fall somewhere between fillings and dental crowns. It’s a more conservative approach in which the damaged part of the tooth is removed and reshaped, giving you a partial crown. 

The lifespan of dental crowns

On average, a dental crown can last up to 10 years. It all comes down to the type and material of the crown and how well they are taken care of. A zirconia crown is a titanium-based crown and has a lifespan of 10-15 years, and that of porcelain or PFM varies between 5 to 10 years. Some sturdy crowns may even last for decades. Remember, when you get dental crowns, the underlying tooth still needs to be protected from decay or gum diseases. So it is highly imperative that you continue following good oral hygiene practices. These practices include brushing your teeth twice and flossing once a day, especially around the area where the gum meets your tooth. Do not use them as can or bottle openers and avoid biting on hard surfaces to avoid cracking the porcelain. 

When skimming through the idea of getting a dental crown, you might get confused about which type of crown you should go for. Several factors may influence this choice. So when making a decision, you must consider:

If you are still confused about which ones would be best suited for your dental concerns, then don’t worry. The aforementioned points are just an insight to familiarize you with what to consider and expect when getting Dental Crowns North York. The city offers the best dental clinics for all your dental requirements. Dentistry at Sheppard has a professional team of highly skilled dentists who guide you about all the available options that are appropriate for you and walk you through the entire process.