San Antonio Dentist

Dental CrownsSan Antonio, TX

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped covers that are placed over a tooth to improve its aesthetics or restore its strength, size and shape. These devices are also known as caps and when one is installed, it fully encloses the entire part of a tooth that is visible above the gums.

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Dental crowns might be needed as a result of an oral emergency like a severely broken or cracked tooth, or issues that develop over a long period of time like tooth decay and discoloration. Other reasons why a dentist might decide a patient needs this prosthetic include:

  • To prevent a weakened tooth from breaking down
  • To keep parts of a cracked tooth together
  • To restore the look of a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • To support a tooth that requires a lot of filling
  • As anchors for dental bridges or a replacement tooth for implants
  • To deal with cosmetic issues affecting a tooth-like discoloration
  • To close up minor gaps
  • To save a baby tooth that has been badly damaged by decay to the point a filling cannot be used to restore it
  • To protect baby teeth if the child is vulnerable to tooth decay. Stainless steel crowns are often used for this purpose

  • While dental crowns can be used to deal with cosmetic issues like stains and discoloration, other dental prosthetics like veneers can also be used for this purpose. Generally speaking, crowns can be used to address any oral issue veneers can be used to mask, but veneers are not interchangeable with crowns. A veneer only covers the front area of the visible part of a tooth, while a crown encases the entire tooth.

    The different types of dental crowns

    A dental crown can be made from a wide range of materials. Stainless steel crowns are often used for primary teeth, while most adults go for caps that are made with porcelain or ceramics. Crowns can also be made from other materials like gold, silver or resins.

    1. Stainless steel crowns

    These types of crowns are often prefabricated and they are typically used as a temporary measure. It protects the wearer's tooth from further damage, while a customized permanent crown is being made. It is usually customized when used on children, so it can effectively protect their baby teeth from falling out early due to tooth decay. It comes out on its own when permanent teeth begin to erupt. Stainless steel crowns are the most affordable type of crown.

    2. Metals

    There are many types of metal alloys that are used to make dental crowns. Materials these alloys contain include platinum, gold, silver and cobalt-chromium. Crowns that are made out of metal alloys are very durable and they can withstand the forces put on teeth when chewing.

    The one drawback of metallic crowns is the fact these prosthetics do not blend in with real teeth. Still, those who like the idea of some fancy metal in their grill should consider metallic crowns. Quality and longevity wise, these are right at the top.

    3. Porcelain-fused-to-metal

    These types of crowns provide a nice fusion of the properties of porcelain with the strength and durability of metal crowns. However, they are more likely to wear down opposing teeth and the porcelain portion is susceptible to chipping.

    Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look a lot like real teeth and they are more durable than caps that are made out of porcelain or ceramics. Dentists recommend using porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns for back teeth or as anchors for dental bridges.

    4. Composite resins

    These are often the least expensive type of crown, but the saying, 'you get what you pay for' rings true here. They are the least durable type of crowns and are more susceptible to wear and tear. Composites also do not have the stain resistant characteristics of ceramics or porcelain, so crowns made from them are more likely to lose their original color over time.

    5. Ceramic or porcelain crowns

    These types of crowns look the most natural and they do not get stained easily. They are a great option for people who are allergic to metals and they are durable enough to be used for back and front teeth. Porcelain and ceramic crowns are the best options for those who do not want anyone noticing they have a dental crown.

    Check out what others are saying about our Dental Crowns services on Yelp: Dental Crowns San Antonio

    What to expect during the appointment

    Getting a dental crown often requires multiple visits to the dentist. During the first appointment, the dentist takes an impression or digital image of the affected tooth and that information is sent to a lab where the prosthetic is made.

    The dentist will go on and prepare the patient's tooth for the crown by removing a portion of enamel. The patient is fitted with a temporary crown to protect their teeth and sent on their way. Temporary crowns are usually made out of stainless steel or an acrylic material.

    It typically takes a couple of weeks for the lab to make the customized crown. Once it is ready, the patient is called in for a follow-up appointment. During this visit, the dentist will take off the temporary crown and install the permanent one using dental cement.

    There is not much of a recovery period after a dental crown is fitted. The patient might experience increased sensitivity and mild discomfort for a few days, but that quickly goes away.

    Dental crowns can do it all

    It does not matter if you are dealing with a dental emergency like a cracked tooth or you are simply unhappy about the appearance of a severely discolored tooth. Dental crowns can be used to address a multitude of dental issues like chips, stains, disfigured teeth, tooth decay, and broken teeth. They can also be used in combination with other prosthetics as a replacement for missing teeth or as anchors.

    There is a very good chance a dental crown is all you need to improve and strengthen a tooth that has been damaged. Stop by our San Antonio office to learn how crowns can be used to fix your teeth.