Composition of Crowns & Bridges
Metal-alloy crowns – these are typically a mix of gold blend with another metal such as silver, platinum, copper, palladium or tin.
Porcelain-fused-with-metal crowns – these types of crowns are composed of a thinner porcelain wrapping around a metal based that is fused to the remaining tooth. This option gives your dentist a better opportunity to match the outer porcelain to the shade of your surrounding teeth. These offer a more natural look than full metal crowns.
Full metal-free crowns – non-metal crowns are growing to be the most popular, and typically what your dentist will recommend. These are fabricated from materials such as alumina, leucite, zirconia and porcelain. These non-metal crowns are best for a natural appearance and should last the longest.
When to Consider a Crown or Bridge
Most often patients are in need of a crown or replacement when tooth decay has destroyed most of the natural tooth. The crown provides protection for the remainder of the tooth and root structure. Doctors may also recommend the use of a crown after root canal therapy on posterior teeth. Using a crown in these circumstances will help solidify and protect the remaining tooth. Crowns can also be used as a cosmetic option to repair badly chipped and crack teeth or to close space between teeth. Dental crowns for cosmetic purposes are often less expensive than other alternatives.
Dental bridges are typically used in the same manner but could be recommended when a tooth is missing or beyond repair. A “bridge” would be fused to the adjoining teeth on either side of the missing tooth, acting as a replacement. The composition of a bridge are generally the same materials used in crowns.
Info About the Procedure
Fitting a dental crown typically involves a two visit procedure. The first visit usually consists of prepping the tooth. The dentist will remove any remnants of the decayed tooth and file the outer layer down to make room for the crown itself. After the tooth is prepped, the dentist will then take impressions of the tooth and surrounding teeth for the fitting. This is then sent off to a dental lab for manufacturing of the permanent crown. A temporary crown will be set in place for the interim until your next visit.
Once the permanent crown is ready to be fitted you will come in for your second visit. At this time the dentist will remove your temporary crown and fasten your permanent crown in with a special adhesive. After the second visit is over, your crown should look, function and feel like a regular tooth!