Dental Crowns: a complete easy guide with everything you need to know!

Dental Crowns: a complete easy guide with everything you need to know!

Chapter 1: Dental Crowns

Welcome to our complete guide on dental crowns. Our dentist, Dr. Cevahir Taşkın, has written this guide and divided it into six parts. Each part will help you understand in detail a unique area of crowns, from the average prices to what you should know about crowns in Turkey. Here we will start with all the general and in-depth info you need to know about crowns. In the next part of this guide on dental crowns, we will talk about the types of crowns. When you finish all the chapters, you’ll be a crown pro and you’ll be able to decide if this treatment is good for you and your needs. We always believe an informed patient is a happy patient. We’re sure you’ll enjoy your bright smile!

Dental Crowns are a dentistry treatment comprising caps positioned on top of an original tooth needing to be covered, protected, restored, or beautified. We can also use dental crowns as a cosmetic treatment to get a healthy and aesthetic smile. This treatment is irreversible and permanent, as the teeth need to be reshaped to create space for the crown. Also, dental crowns are extremely long-lasting.

What are dental crowns? A guide to dental crowns.

What are dental crowns? 

A dental crown is a treatment mostly used when your teeth get damaged because of an injury, tooth decay, weak tooth, discolored tooth, fractured teeth, in case of chipping, and other medical conditions. This kind of damage happens often because of time passing and, sometimes, because of bad oral hygiene. Dental crowns are caps placed on top of the teeth, just like a crown or a hat. They cover the entire tooth and reshape them, creating protection and changing their size, color, aesthetic, and appearance. This treatment has been, in fact, used for so many years and has developed with new materials and new more advanced dental procedures, leaving behind the anesthetic gold and most of the potential side effects

Many people experience unexplained pain from filled back teeth. This is often caused by hairline cracks in the tooth chewing part. When you place crowns on these teeth, you will notice relief from the pain and you will go back to full dental function.

In front teeth, older fillings cause weak teeth or aesthetic problems because of stains and chips. Also, if you underwent root canal fillings, you may have crowns on top of it to prevent breakage. 

Almost everyone can get a dental crown, no matter how young or old. They’re just a dental visit away. From toddlers to seniors everyone can benefit from this treatment. This makes dental crowns universal and one of the most used treatments in dentistry. 

Dental Crown explained: simple explanation on crowns? Imagine a beanie hat for your teeth. It covers all, is taller than your head, and goes all around it. That’s exactly what a crown does and what’s a dental crown procedure!

Fun Fact about Crowns: crowns are so biocompatible and so similar to teeth they have the same ability to expand or contract with temperature changes. With hot food and drinks your teeth – and crowns – will expand. While with icy food and drinks, your teeth and crowns will contract. 

Who is a candidate for dental crowns? 

Dental crowns can be used for various reasons, both medical and aesthetic, and are often suggested by a dentist because of their durability and effectiveness proved throughout the years. 

This is what dental crowns can do for you:

  • Cover teeth with large fillings and not enough natural tooth left
  • Protect weak teeth in case of breakage or chipping
  • Protect decayed tooth
  • Restore harshly affected or worn down teeth
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Replace a broken tooth
  • Cover a bad tooth color
  • Hold a dental bridge in its place
  • Cover teeth treated with a root canal procedure
  • Cover extreme discolorations and stains
  • Get a more aesthetic smile for your normal teeth
  • Get a healthy smile
  • Cover a badly shaped tooth
  • Correct poor aesthetics 

Your dentist will suggest dental crowns if necessary and will evaluate with you if this treatment is your best option and you’re a good candidate for it. We’ll guarantee a beautiful smile! 

Who can get veneers?

Is there an age limit for crowns? 

No, there is no limit for dental crowns. Also, there is no minimum age for getting a dental crown, it’s simply sufficient that a tooth is damaged enough through decay, too much wear, or it is just plain broken. From toddlers to senior citizens, everyone can get them. Kids chip and break their teeth easily and have cavities because of a problem brushing their teeth correctly. Senior citizens have more decay because of age but also have more delicate teeth. So it doesn’t matter what’s your age, you can always get crowns.  

Dental crowns for toddlers 

It can be surprising, but dental crowns can be a solution for kids and toddlers too. They are usually advised when a primary tooth – not a milk tooth – has one or more large cavities, a bad development or it is broken or cracked. Studies show children aged 2 to 12 have one cavity – at least – in the 42% of the cases. It’s also important to remember children often break teeth because of accidents. If missing or highly damaged teeth get ignored or not cured, the surrounding teeth might shift and become crooked, requiring braces or aligners in the future.

Dental crowns for seniors 

For seniors, you automatically think of dentures. But dentures are not the only treatments you can get when you’re old. Crowns can be used at any age. Especially with age, teeth can have more wear or decay or easily break. In these cases, dental crowns are the best solution. As long as there’s a tooth to apply the crown on, you can easily get veneers at any age. 

Dental crowns for crooked teeth 

Many people are curious about the possibility of fixing crooked teeth with a dental crown. Now, let’s be clear. Crowns cannot fix crooked teeth. They cannot move teeth or act like Invisalign or braces. However, you can get a chance with incredible results by using crowns on crooked, receding, erupting, or crowded teeth. The only characteristic needed if you want crowns on crooked teeth is you need to have the surrounding teeth aligned with the one getting crowns. You will then have healthy teeth looking perfect.

Dental crowns to straighten teeth 

Dental crowns cannot straighten teeth as a whole, they’re not braces or Invisalign or braces. However,  you can cover the part of the tooth that is visible and fix minor cases of misaligned teeth, creating the appearance of teeth that are straight and aligned. This can be a good solution if just a small part of your teeth is misaligned and you need an aesthetic solution for it.

Dental crowns for bruxism 

Bruxism makes you clench your teeth often and severely. This gives immense stress to your teeth and they may crack or break because of the pressure. Crowns are a good option if you have damage caused by bruxism, and may stabilize the tooth or teeth with breakage. Good quality crowns may handle the pressure of bruxism. But, it might be a good idea for you to handle this problem and wear a mouth guard at night to protect both your teeth and crowns.

When can’t you use crowns? 

Dental crowns are pretty much universal, but there are some cases requiring a different solution. You can’t have dental crowns if:

  • Allergy to anesthesia: if you can’t handle the anesthesia or are allergic to the types used, you may not get this treatment. However, other types of anesthesia may be used. You should discuss this with your dentist.
  • Serious conditions: if you had a recent stroke or suffer from serious heart diseases and problems, you should restrain from this kind of treatment. Another option could get an exam from your cardiologist and ask them if dental crowns are a good option for you.
  • Other treatments available: traditional crowns may not be the perfect fit for you! Your dentist may suggest treatments requiring less extensive preparation, like onlay, inlays, veneers, fillings. 
  • Tooth Loss: if your natural tooth structure is missing you’re not a candidate for a crown. You may need an alternative to crowns like an artificial tooth option, a dental implant for example. It’s not possible to have crowns on missing teeth as they are bond to teeth.

Before ruling out complete crowns, get in touch with us and we’ll suggest you the best treatment for your needs.

Are dental crowns permanent? 

Before getting any dental treatment is important to understand every detail. Making the right choice for you means knowing exactly what you’re getting and what this entails. 

Dental crowns are permanent and once you get them, you won’t be able to be without them. If a crown breaks or cracks or is too worn down, it has to be replaced.

Dental crown pros and cons

Dental crowns are one of the most used and performed dental treatments out there. They’re both used as restorative care and as cosmetic procedures. This is because there are so many advantages to it and, thanks to the advanced technologies, just a few cons.

Let’s see some benefits of dental crowns:

  • They can save an extensively damaged tooth with no extraction
  • They’re not extremely expensive
  • Extremely long-lasting
  • Protect your teeth forever
  • Straighten your teeth
  • Give superior aesthetic 
  • They’re very versatile
  • Can be used on dead teeth
  • Correct extreme discoloration permanently with no constant whitening
  • Improve the aesthetic of your teeth
  • Proven effectiveness
  • There are hypoallergenic materials

As in every procedure, there are some disadvantages connected to dental crowns. Knowing the cons of crowns is helpful to make a conscious choice. Some of the main cons to keep in mind when considering crowns are:

  • The treatment is permanent and irreversible because of the filing of the tooth.
  • There may be discomfort after the procedure, with some temporary pain.
  • You may experience some tooth sensitivity, especially to hot and cold.
  • There may be problems when biting down and it may be because of an ill-fitting crown.
  • They can chip, especially the ones made of softer materials.
  • The cement may go away, allowing bacteria underneath the crown. This can create decay or cavities.
  • There can be an allergic reaction to porcelain or metal.
  • Crowns are not eternal and may need replacing after 10-15 years.
  • If you don’t take good care of them, they may need replacing earlier.

What do dental crowns look like and do dental crowns look natural?

Dental crowns do really look like a crown covering your natural tooth. They look like a cap on top of your teeth, covering it completely. It goes completely around your teeth. You won’t be able to tell the difference between your surrounding teeth – the natural ones – and your dental crowns. This requires a talented and skilled dentist to get natural work. An experienced doctor will know how to match your teeth to perfection, from the shape to the color, so nobody will tell the difference.

Will crowns ruin my teeth? 

Your teeth will be filed down and will stay like that forever. Also, ill-fitting crowns can wear on the adjacent teeth and create sensitivity – sensitive teeth and sensitive parts around the crown – or damage. Please, get in touch with your dentist if you feel continuous discomfort. Dental crowns can also destroy other teeth if the crown is too abrasive. It may wear on surrounding or opposing teeth, leading to sensitivity or even damage. Tell your dentist if there is any pain or discomfort surrounding your crown right away!

A qualified healthcare provider will know how to install the perfect crowns fit for your personal preference and needs!

Is a dental crown a root canal?

No. A crown is a cap or hat on top of your teeth. A root canal is a treatment to remove infected or affected pulp and nerves out of your teeth, followed by fillings. A root canal can be performed before the installation of a crown in case of pulp or nerve damage.

Is dental crown safe? 

Yes. The dental crown treatment is safe but there may be some side effects or complications. An experienced doctor is able to tell you if you’re a good candidate for dental crowns and how to avoid complications. A skilled team will know how to handle a perfect procedure. 

Who invented dental crowns? 

Dental crowns are probably the first dentistry treatment discovered. They don’t go back tens of years nor hundreds but thousands. Yes, thousands. Let’s delve into the history of dental crowns:

First Dental Crowns: 2000 BC 

On the island of Luzon, Philippines, there was a skeleton dating back 4000 years with gold caps on their teeth. This was a dental treatment reserved for only the richest of people, of course. Also, in 200 AD, the Etruscan population used many materials for both bridges and crowns. One of these materials was gold. Yes, gold crowns were used 4000 years ago!

This continued for around 1500 years more and was the gold standard in dentistry procedures. 

Ceramic Dental Crowns: 1800s

During the 1800s the ceramic dental crowns emerge with the “jacket crown”. The “Jacket crown was created by Charles H. Land and it was developed from ceramic. E.B. Paulding worked on the jacket crowns, improving them, and introduced them to the market in the early 1900s until the 50s. This type of crown would crack easily during the creation and wear, making them short-lived.

Dr. Charles Land introduced the all-porcelain jacket crowns in 1903. These are the most similar to the ones we use today.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns: 1950s

Porcelain crowns were the best and newest crown type until porcelain-fused-to-metal came around. They were extremely fragile, while PFTM crowns were more durable. While the porcelain on the outer layer allowed a beautiful aesthetic result, the inside metal allows them to last a long time.

Lynch CD, Hale R, Chestnutt IG, Wilson NHF. Reasons for placement and replacement of crowns in general dental practice. Br Dent J. 2018;225(3):229-234.

Lei YC. Zhonghua Kou Qiang Yi Xue Za Zhi. 1991;26(6):329-388.

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