Dental crowns are metal, porcelain or composite caps fixed on the grinded crown of the living tooth or – in case when the tooth is dead – on the post and core. They are commonly used in situations when teeth are seriously damaged, for example as a result of caries, in dead teeth – after root-canal treatment as well as in bite reconstruction if the less invasive methods have failed. They are also recommended in case of the inherent lack of enamel on teeth. The crown can protect the tooth from breaking.
A specific variant of crowns are bridges – blocked crowns – which are usually applied to restore gaps in dentition.
Another type of dental crowns are prosthetic crowns mounted on implants. In this case the crown is fixed on the root-like titanium base – the implant. The crowns are fixed with the implant connectors following the integration of the implant with the periodontal bone. There are different types of dental crowns that can be fixed on implants like porcelain fused to metal crowns or all-ceramic crowns based on zirconium dioxide.
The process of manufacturing crowns takes several stages. Right after the preparation (grinding) of the tooth is done, an acrylic temporary crown is placed on it and kept wearing for a short period of time. Temporary crowns are designed to be easy to remove – they just protect the tooth until the dental technician performs the ultimate crown. The dentist adjusts it to the tooth and cement it permanently.
Crowns and bridges are usually not applicable to young patients because their teeth and bones are not yet fully developed. It is also an essential condition for wearing dental crowns to keep the gums and support bone healthy and in a good fit, therefore the correct teeth brushing and flossing are necessary before and after treatment.
Materials for crowns and bridges – what are they made of?
Crowns and bridges are made of porcelain fused to precious or non precious metal base, full porcelain or zirconium. The difference between the full zirconium crown and the traditional metal bonded crown is that the first one appears to be much more natural and moreover the zirconium dioxide is biocompatible. Zirconium reflects light in the same way as the live tooth does, while a traditional metal-ceramic structure may not be transparent enough.
Crowns and bridges can last for many years as long as the Patient maintains a proper hygiene of his teeth and gums, and he attends routine dental examinations on the regular basis. Materials used to make crowns and bridges are common in many dental procedures and do not pose a threat to Patients’ health.