If you have damaged teeth, it may be time to consider a dental crown. But which material should you choose? Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center has the answers to common dental crown questions, just like we’ve been helping Chicago dental patients with their needs for many years.
What is a Dental Crown?
Let’s start with what a dental crown is, and what it does. To simplify it, a dental crown is a cap, shaped like the original tooth, that’s placed over a tooth that’s cracked, chipped, discolored, or otherwise damaged. The crown has several functions. It can restore your smile to its original appearance, protect the remaining tooth structure, and restore function.
What Are Dental Crowns Made Of?
There are four different types of dental crowns. Depending on your needs — the kind of repair being done — and the location of the crown, different materials have their own advantages and disadvantages. It’s also not uncommon for patients to have more than one type of dental crown, for reasons we’ll soon see.
Gold Alloy Crowns
These are literally the “gold standard” of tooth crowns. Your dentist won’t be using pure 24-karat gold, which is too soft. Instead, the gold is formed into an alloy with one or more base metals. The crown will be gold in appearance, so you may not want to use it for your front teeth, but it comes with some advantages. It’s strong, very durable, and is biocompatible with your gum tissue and the tooth structure.
Base Metal Alloys
Like gold alloys, base metals tend to be extremely durable. However, in common with gold alloy crowns, base metal crowns will draw attention to the fact that you have crowns. For this reason, they’re commonly used on molars and other rearward teeth that aren’t as visible.
While they aren’t quite as durable as the other options listed here, porcelain crowns are very popular. That’s because they’re made of high-strength ceramics that can be color-graded to match your natural teeth. A further caveat: porcelains require more of the existing tooth structure to be filed away in order to be used.
Porcelain-Fused Metal Crown
Here, you get the best of both worlds. The basis of the crown is a base metal structure to which a porcelain veneer is applied. The underlying metal provides strength and durability, while the porcelain layer allows the crown to match your natural teeth.
Choosing the Right Dental Crowns
If this information leaves you better-educated but still a bit confused, contact Smile On Dental Salon & Sleep Apnea Center if you’re located in Chicago or Deerfield. Our dentists will evaluate your needs and your goals to help you choose the dental crown that best fit your appearance and functional goals. We’re here for all your oral health needs, from dental crowns to Invisalign, porcelain veneers, and routine dental cleanings. Call us in Lakeview at 773-570-1630 or in Deerfield at 224-282-8939 to see how we can help you!