Dental crowns are one of the most common dental procedures we perform. A crown is an artificial structure that surrounds the tooth. The goal is that this structure will protect the tooth from harm from biting and chewing pressure. However, there are many types of dental crowns, and many classifications either according to their material or how much of the tooth they cover. For that reason, it can be hard to know which kind you should expect. So, let’s explore the 4 different types of crowns and their uses.
Why Do People Need Crowns?
A crown’s main function is to engulf a tooth and protect it against the forces that may affect it during biting and chewing. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that you would need a crown when one of your teeth is weakened. If that’s the case, it definitely needs protection. This happens in situations like root canal-treated teeth, fractured teeth, and teeth devastated by decay, to name a few.
How Do We Make Crowns?
Dental crowns must resemble the tooth which they surround in both shape and size. For that to happen, we need to prepare the tooth first. We grind parts of it away to make it smaller – so that the overlying crown isn’t bulky and bad-looking. The dentist performs this with a dental turbine. Then, they take a digital “mold” of the prepared tooth to send it to the lab. Finally, the lab makes the crown, delivering it back to us so we can cement it atop the prepared tooth.
4 Different Types of Crowns & Their Uses
By material, crowns are classified into:
1. Gold Crowns
While these are obsolete now, they were quite common in the previous century. Gold crowns looked horrible and overly prominent. However, they were extremely valuable and strong, not to mention easily adaptable to the tooth surface.
2. Metal Crowns
For years, metal crowns were the gold standard for dental crowns. As opposed to gold, these were less valuable but stronger and easier to make. They were always covered with a thin layer of porcelain in an attempt to mask their metallic grey color. Although metal crowns are not in common use now, they are still occasionally useful. That’s because they are more economical than other types.
3. Zirconium Crowns
You might recognize zirconium as “fake diamonds.” Zirconium possesses the same hardness and strength as metal, only white in color. Newer kinds are also computer-templated, which makes them very accurate. This is currently the most common type.
4. E-Max Crowns (All-porcelain Crowns)
This is a crown entirely made of specially treated porcelain that is strong enough to withstand all the biting forces. Needless to say, this type is the most attractive. In addition, it is most suitable for front teeth where appearance is more important than strength.
This has been just a brief summary of the 4 different types of crowns and their uses. However, there is so much more to the story. In addition, much more data goes into the selection of the best type to suit your case. When you see us for a crown, ask us which type is best for you!
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