What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a possible treatment option for a badly broken down or damaged tooth.

The best way to save a person’s few remaining teeth is to place a dental crown. It can also be used to restore a previously treated tooth or cover a dental implant.

A dental crown looks natural inside the mouth because of the external porcelain material. The porcelain layer mimics the shape and color of a natural tooth, making the restored tooth blend with the natural ones.

When should you get a Dental Crown?

  • Used as a final restoration for dental implants
  • Used as a final restoration after root canal treatment if the tooth structure is severely damaged and more prone to fracture
  • For aesthetic reasons. For example: discoloration, simple misalignment of teeth, severely decayed tooth and tooth fracture
  • For fixed bridge (a missing tooth in between two existing teeth), in replacement of the missing tooth a jacket crown can also be used with the support of the adjacent teeth
  • The remaining tooth structure is weak and can no longer support the filling

Advantages

Jacket Crown

WHITE COAT. A dental jacket is applied to teeth that has been broken down.

  • Jacket crowns can last up to 8-10 years if properly cared
  • Good aesthetics
  • Protects the tooth
  • Restores dental function

Disadvantages

  • Jacket crowns are more expensive than tooth colored metal (amalgam) fillings.
  • 1-2mm of tooth reduction will be taken off to cover the tooth.
  • If the tooth is still vital (not root canal treated) patients will feel sensitivity to hot and cold beverages and foods.
  • Gum inflammation and periodontal problems may arise with poor oral hygiene.
  • Prone to chipping
  • Crown margins if not restored or checked properly, leaks may pass through and tooth decay will affect the remaining tooth causing damage underneath

Types/Kinds

Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM). The outer surface is made of porcelain and the inner part is made of metal. This type of crown can copy the color (shade) of the adjacent tooth. This crown is good for the front and back teeth.

Metals composed of gold alloy, palladium or a based metal alloy. Tooth reduction is minimal in this type of crowns. However, aesthetically this can only be used on the back (posterior) teeth. It withstands biting and chewing forces and the crown rarely breaks.

Gold Crowns. The strongest crown and can withstand biting and chewing forces because of the malleability of the gold. This type of crown will not chip or break and it will last the longest. Nevertheless, it is expensive because of the gold content.

All Resin or All Plastic Crown. Less expensive and is more prone to fracture.

All Ceramic or All Porcelain Crown. Suitable for people with metal allergies. It has a better color match and good choice aesthetically. This kind of crown is not as strong as the other metals or crowns, thus it is most commonly used in the front (anterior) teeth.

What to expect?

Two out of ten patients will feel tooth sensitivity for at least 2-3 days.

Procedure of a Jacket Crown

First Appointment

  • Consultation
  • Dental impression for the fabrication of your temporary crown
  • Tooth shade guide to match the color of your temporary crown and permanent crown

Second Appointment

  • Reduction of your natural tooth to accommodate the dental crown
  • Final dental Impression for the fabrication of the permanent crown
  • A temporary crown will be fitted while the permanent crown is created in the laboratory

Third Appointment

  • Fitting and checking of margins and bite if properly adapted to the tooth. If everything is satisfactory, the dentist will cement the crown to the tooth.

Time Span

Jacket crowns can last up to 8-10 years with the proper cleaning and visit to the dentist every 6 months.

Post Treatment

Taking good care of the crown as to avoid any oral complications is as follows;

  • Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing the teeth 2-3 times a day and flossing should also be included to remove dental plaque/calcular deposits.
  • Avoid eating hard foods on the crowned tooth to avoid breakage.

Follow Up

Visit the dentist every 6 months for check-up and for oral prophylaxis (teeth cleaning).

 

WRITTEN BY: DR. MARI ELIZABETH PERENA | EDITED BY: DR. RICHELLE RAMIREZ

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