A Dentist Answers FAQ’s About Natural Looking Crowns
If a tooth or teeth become worn down, discolored or severely affected by tooth decay, dental crowns can be placed on affected teeth to increase tooth strength and improve the overall appearance of the mouth. There are several different types of materials that can be placed, each with unique benefits. Many people will ask dentists about a natural-looking dental crown that looks as much like a normal tooth as possible. Here are the answers the some frequently asked questions so you can decide if a natural-looking crown is the right solution for you.
What is a natural-looking dental crown?
Patients have several different options to consider when having a dental crown put in. While metal or stainless steel crowns are a metallic color, ceramic, porcelain or composite resin are all designed to mimic the color and appearance of a natural tooth.
What crown material do dentists prefer?
The materials used to cap a tooth depends on the patient’s personal preference and the location of the affected tooth. Stainless steel is often used for children as a temporary solution for permanent teeth or to fit over primary teeth since this material is a cost-effective option and only takes one dental visit to install. Metal is durable and resistant to fracture. Since metal stands out in the mouth, though, this material is often used for repairing molars that are not visible from the front of the mouth. While composite resin has a more natural appearance, it is often used as a temporary measure and can wear down or possibly crack with time.
For permanent, natural-looking teeth, dentists often recommend either porcelain-fused-to-metal or all-ceramic crowns. A porcelain-fused-to-metal crown offers the strength of metal while matching the color and appearance of the surrounding teeth. However, this option can potentially wear down the adjacent teeth, and the porcelain section of the crown may chip or break. All-ceramic crowns have the most natural appearance and do not contain any metal, which can be a good option for people with metal allergies.
When is a dental crown necessary?
There are several situations where a dental crown may need to be placed on an adult’s or child’s tooth:
- To protect a weakened tooth from further wear
- To save a tooth severely damaged by tooth decay
- To address a cracked or fractured tooth
- To cover up discolored or unattractive teeth
- To shield a tooth after a root canal
- To cover a dental implant or hold a dental bridge in place
- To protect the teeth of children with cavities
Patients should discuss with a dentist whether natural-looking dental crowns are a possible solution for their unique needs. It is important for an individual to consider the price of different materials and how much support and durability are needed to adequately protect the mouth. No matter what material is used, patients must practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day and flossing daily, and meet with a dentist for regular exams and cleanings to prevent damage to the crown.
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