When a tooth is cracked or chipped and the root remains intact, your dentist may build a crown to help preserve the remainder of the tooth and the overall structure of your teeth. But just like the ones you wear on your head, not all are built the same.
Here are the most common types of crowns:
Gold crowns are the strongest of all types, and are usually the most expensive. Because of the flashy nature of the gold alloy, this type of crown is usually reserved for the molars at the back of the mouth, hidden from view.
Other types of metal crowns include stainless steel, which is used primarily for temporary crowns because of its softness, and other types of metal alloys including chromium and nickel. Beyond strength and durability, metal crowns require less tooth restructuring than other crown materials and so much of the existing tooth and neighboring teeth remain intact.
Popular choices for crowns nowadays include all-porcelain or all-ceramic. The biggest advantage to porcelain crowns over metal is that they can be matched to existing teeth. However, a big disadvantage is that they require more preparation of the tooth and surrounding teeth and they don’t last as long as metal. Sometimes, the porcelain types can be combined with a metal base for extra strength, but then you sacrifice a little in terms of aesthetics.
Resin is another popular choice for crowns. It, too, can be matched to the color of your teeth. But resin crowns can be prone to cracking and chipping, and with this type you may find yourself having to replace the crown sooner than you’d like.
The type of crown you ultimately choose is going to be based on where the crown is located in your mouth, the price and durability. Also, if you have any metal allergies, your dentist will probably have you rule out gold and other alloys.
Posted on behalf of Dr. Byron Scott, Springhill Dental Health Center
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