If you have a tooth that needs protecting or replacing, your Wollongong dentist might well recommend a dental crown. But what kind of crown is best? Are you ready to have a unique sparkle to your smile with a drop of gold amongst your white teeth? Or would you prefer to have something a little more discreet? Fortunately, there are various types of crowns that can all restore your tooth to its natural shape, appearance, function and, if you want, colour. However, the best crown for you will depend on your oral health and the position of the tooth in question.
What are Dental Crowns
Dental crowns are prosthetic devices that are used to strengthen weakened or fractured teeth or to cover a root canal, dental implant or discoloured tooth. They are placed either by removing decay, filing down and reshaping an existing tooth, or by first placing a dental implant into the jawbone to replace a missing tooth. Crowns are then cemented to the tooth or implant, held firmly in place as a permanent cap for the tooth or structure below.
Dental crowns are often recommended by cosmetic dentists to help improve your appearance. What is cosmetic dentistry, you may ask? It’s basically any dental work that improves the appearance of your teeth and, ultimately, your smile. However, while dental crowns can most certainly restore your smile, they can also help to protect your long-term oral health.
What Types of Crowns are Available?
While the uninitiated might assume all dental crowns are made equal, that is far from the case. There are, in fact, a variety of different types available. And, when it comes to having choices, it’s best to know your stuff. Some of the pros and cons of different materials include:
- Porcelain – these crowns are strong, natural-looking and low in cost. However, they are prone to chipping and can aggravate adjacent teeth.
- Ceramic – these crowns offer the best colour and texture match for your natural teeth. However, they are also prone to chipping and are susceptible to pressure.
- Gold alloy – amongst the strongest materials for a crown, gold doesn’t fracture or wear down and is gentle on adjacent teeth. However, you most certainly won’t have a natural-looking tooth.
- Metal alloy – again, a strong material that doesn’t fracture, is resistant to corrosion and gentle on adjacent teeth. However, while less expensive than gold, metal alloys can still be costly and won’t look natural.
- Combination – porcelain can be bonded to the exterior of a metal crown to give a strong metal framework with long-term durability, while also providing a natural look. However, the metal will cost you, and the porcelain part will still be prone to chipping.
Choosing the Right Dental Crown for You
Whether you’ve always wanted a golden tooth or you would prefer a natural-looking crown, following the advice of your Fairy Meadow dentist is key. When helping you select the best material for your crown your dentist will consider your tooth’s location, its visibility when you smile, its function and the health of the underlying and surrounding teeth.
When you visit your dentist, you can, of course, talk about your personal preference. But your dentist is best placed to advise which combination of materials will work best for you. Your dentist will be able to talk you through the comparative costs and help you find affordable crowns. If you’re determined to have a gold sparkle to your smile, there may well be a payment plan to help you get it. And, while you may need to fund preparatory work as well as the crown itself, the investment in the appearance and function of your smile will be worth every penny – gold or otherwise.