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Dental crown. Benefits and drawbacks

What is a dental crown ?

A dental crown is a prosthetic restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Certain conditions should be met:

  • the tooth will be prepared in a specific way that involves removing part of its original structure
  • the tooth must be healthy or properly treated
  • the original tooth crown (the part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth cavity) should be strong enough to support the restoration

front tooth prepared for a dental crown

front tooth prepared for a dental crown

dental crown front and back view

dental crown front and
back view

teeth with advanced gingival retraction; dental crowns not indicated

teeth with advanced gingival recession;
dental crowns not indicated

porcelain crowns before and after

porcelain crowns before and after



Benefits

  • The tooth is restored both functionally and aesthetically

    A dental crown can restore the tooth back to its original size, shape, and color. Besides that, a crown surrounds the tooth and makes it strong again, so badly broken or decayed teeth can be strengthened with dental crowns.

    A crown can cover up a stained or unusually shaped tooth or close spaces between teeth and correct minor rotations and positions of the teeth. Dental crowns can improve the general appearance, adding to patients self-confidence and giving a nicer smile.

    Porcelain and zirconia crowns are aesthetically superior compared to other types of crowns (composite, acrylic).

    porcelain crown
    metal acrylic crown

    porcelain crown vs metal acrylic crown


  • A crown protects the tooth against further decay

    A crown that fits correctly over the tooth can protect the tooth against tooth decay.


  • Few appointments are needed

    Dental crowns require little time to be completed compared to dental bridges, removable dentures or implant supported prostheses. Depending on the type of crown, the execution may vary between 2 and 4 appointments.


  • Patients get used to dental crowns before long

    Because of their small size, patients get accustomed to dental crowns in a short time. Generally, after a period of 1 to 4 weeks, a dental crown should feel and function like a regular tooth.



Main drawbacks

  • Requires tooth preparation

    If performed on natural teeth, dental crowns require irreversible tooth preparation (grinding or polishing). This operation leads to the loss of large amounts of healthy tooth tissue and sometimes even endodontic procedures that lead to tooth devitalization.


    natural tooth before preparation

    natural tooth before preparation

    the tooth after preparation

    the tooth after preparation


  • Higher cost

    Dental crowns (especially porcelain or zirconia) entail a much higher cost than a filing. The price difference between crowns and fillings has several reasons:

    • constructing a dental crown is a much more laborious process than a filling
    • clinical stages are more numerous
    • its manufacture requires the participation of more practitioners: dentist, dental technician and sometimes other specialists.



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