Posted on 8/30/2019 by Brian Rounds, DDS
|If you have tooth decay that is too extensive for a filling, we may recommend a dental crown. Whether we can recommend a dental crown will depend on how much of the tooth is left once we remove all of the decay. When you need a crown you frequently will need a root canal as well, but that is a discussion for another post.
Once we have decided that a crown is a way to go we next have to decide what type of crown you need. We will make this determination with you because after all, they are your teeth and it is your smile. There are four different types of crowns available. You should know up front, though that not all of them will be suitable for your tooth. Suitability depends on several factors including which tooth needs it and how much of the tooth is left.
How Do the Crowns Break Down?There are four different types of crowns; ceramic, porcelain-fused to metal, gold alloys, and base metal alloys. Each of these types of crowns has its good points and bad points. Deciding which type of crown to use includes features of each type such as durability, sealing ability, and aesthetic features.
First, there are ceramic crowns. These are made of a porcelain-based material and, as you can imagine, they can blend with your natural teeth. We usually reserve these for use on your front teeth. This is because they blend in and they are not durable enough to use on your molars.
Next, you have porcelain-fused to metal crowns. This type of crown has a stronger bond than the all porcelain (ceramic) crown. The increased durability is because it is fused to metal. Though it is more durable, and resists wear better than the ceramic crown it can annoy the teeth opposite them if that surface becomes rough. You can feel the roughness or smoothness of the surfaces of your different teeth by running your teeth along with them.
Gold alloy crowns are not pure gold as you may think but are a combination of metals with gold being the metal with the highest content. Gold by itself is too soft to take the stress of biting and chewing and would deform eventually. The additional metal increases its ability to maintain its shape. This is one of the best and most durable crowns and is generally used for the molars.
The base metal alloy crowns are also used for the molars due to their strength. These are made of non-noble metals such as nickel and are very resistant to corrosion, in addition, to be gentle on the opposing teeth as gold crowns are.
If you need a crown, we will be happy to go over your options with you.