A dental crown may be made of stainless steel, porcelain, gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or resin. Different materials are selected based on the position of the treated tooth, the age of the patient, and the desired aesthetic results.
Teeth that are located near the rear of the mouth may not be noticeable as the patient smiles or speaks. As a result, the color of the crown may not be important to the patient. Since tooth-colored crowns may be more expensive than other materials, a metal crown may be selected for a back tooth.
The metal crown still protects and reinforces the tooth structure, as well as its tooth-colored counterparts. The color of the crown is simply not matched to the natural color of the patient's other teeth.
For teeth that are near the front of the mouth, a porcelain, porcelain-over-metal, or resin crown may be preferred so that the device is not noticeable in the mouth. The exact shade of white can be selected so that the crown material looks like the patient's natural tooth enamel.
Stainless steel crowns are often used to treat a child's teeth. The crowns can be placed during a single appointment, and they will be shed with the pediatric teeth as the patient grows older.
Still, crowns are not only used to treat issues with an existing tooth, such as cavities, chips, or cracks. Crowns can also be used in conjunction with other devices that are applied to replace lost teeth. Here are a few other dental applications that are used with dental crowns.
Dental bridges include one or more replacement teeth to take the place of the patient's missing teeth. However, the false teeth do not hold the bridge in the mouth. To fix the bridge in place, the device includes crowns that attach the bridge to the teeth that border the space that will be filled by the false teeth.
An implant replaces the roots of a tooth, the portion of the tooth that rests in the jawbone and is hidden from view. However, in order for an implant-based tooth replacement to function in the mouth, it must be covered by a crown.
After the implant has become secure in the jawbone through osseointegration, an abutment and dental crown can be attached. The crown allows the replacement tooth to function as it should for mastication and to appear natural in the mouth.
To learn more about dental crown treatment options, schedule an appointment with a dentist in your local area.