Gold and Metal Dental Crowns and Caring For Them

Dental crowns, often called dental caps, come in several varieties designed to address the specific purposes they serve and the locations they are placed in the mouth. Each of the different materials used for dental crowns has its advantages and disadvantages. Metal crowns (gold alloy, nickel alloy, or chromium alloy) are the strongest type of crown, making them an excellent choice for restoring molars (back teeth). In addition, metal crowns have the best fit of any type of crown and they last the longest lasting crowns. On the downside, their metallic color makes them less desirable for the restoration of front or other other highly visible teeth. The use of a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown, a metal crown covered with tooth colored porcelain, can lessen the cosmetic problems of a metal crown while retaining most of the strength and durability advantages. Your dentist can offer you guidance with choosing the type of crown that is best for your needs.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
There are a number of common dental problems for which dental crowns offer a solution. A tooth that is weakened by decay or breakage can be saved by the placement of a dental crown. A dental crown can also be used to hold together a cracked tooth. The problems associated with worn down teeth, including bite problems and jaw pain, can be corrected with dental crowns. dental brushA tooth that has been weakened by a large filling or a root canal procedure can be saved with a dental crown. One or more crowns are also needed to hold a partial or dental bridge in place. Crowns can also resolve cosmetic dental issues such as misshapen teeth, stained teeth, or discolored teeth. As always, consult your dentist to see if a dental crown is right for you.

Is Special Care Required for a Crowned Tooth?
A crowned tooth requires the same care as any other tooth. Remember, your crown is just a cover on your natural tooth and you need to practice good oral hygiene to protect the natural tooth from decay and gum disease. Treat the crowned tooth as you would your natural teeth by brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily including the area around crowned tooth. A temporary crown on the other hand, does require some special care. To protect your temporary crown, avoid eating sticky foods like gum and caramel that could pull the temporary crown off and hard foods like raw vegetables and nuts that could break the temporary crown. When possible avoid chewing with the temporary crown. Flossing can dislodge a temporary crown so be careful not to lift floss against the side of a temporary crown. If you experience any problem with a permanent or temporary crown see your dentist immediately.

By: Dr. Trinh Pham

Types of Dental Crowns And How To Care For Them

What Types of Crowns Are Available?

dental crownBecause dental crowns, also known as dental caps, are used for different purposes and in different parts of the mouth, crowns are made from several different materials. The most commonly used materials for crowns are metal (gold alloy, nickel alloy, or chromium alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal (a metal crown with a natural colored porcelain coating), all-porcelain (solid natural colored porcelain), and resin (solid ceramic/polymer composite). Each of these materials has it advantages and disadvantages. Metal crowns offer the strength needed to restore molars (the back teeth used for chewing) but the metal color is a turn-off to many patients. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns offer the strength of a metal crown with a more natural-look but the porcelain coating can chip. The natural look of all-porcelain and resin crowns make them good for restoring the front teeth but they are not as strong as metal crowns. Your dentist can recommend the type of crown that will best suit your needs.

How Should I Care for My Temporary Dental Crown?

A dental crown, also known as a dental cap, is made in a dental laboratory. To protect your tooth while your crown is being made, your dentist will place a temporary crown on your tooth. Temporary crowns are usually made of an acrylic material that is not a strong or secure as a permanent crown. To protect your temporary crown, special precaution need to be taken. When eating, avoid foods that can damage or dislodge the temporary crown such as sticky foods that can pull off the temporary crown (caramel, gum, etc.) and hard foods that could break the temporary crown (candy, raw fruits and vegetables, etc.). If possible, avoid using the temporary crown for any chewing. When flossing, do not lift the floss as you normally would but slide the floss out from between the temporary crown and neighboring teeth: lifting the floss could pull the temporary crown off.

By: Dr. Trinh Pham