Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns
Of all of our body parts, teeth rank right up there as one of our most resilient and hardworking. And when they’re treated to life-long, tender-loving care, they give us bright, life-long, happy smiles!
Our teeth are vulnerable not only to neglect, but also to the natural process of aging…
The crowns of our teeth are the white enamel that you see above the gumline. As we age, our teeth crowns will be damaged or changed due to many outside forces. It may become cracked or weakened by excessive wear or by decay, discolored by root canal treatment or by health factors and medicines, or become unsightly due to older compromised fillings and crowns.
If you have missing or loose teeth…read on! A crown may be the solution to restore your smile and help you regain your confidence.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is commonly referred to as a dental cap since it caps or covers an entire tooth. Customized to specification, the dental crown performs a variety of functions that are very important, but the most important is support for damaged teeth.
Upon placement, the dental crown is immediately effective. The extra support helps to preserve the functionality of the crowned tooth and prevents further damage from occurring. It also intercepts the mouth being forced to adapt to a damaged tooth, which can lead to misalignments, discomfort, pain, decay, gum disease, and decreased function.
Crowns generally last for about 10 years, but with excellent care, can last much longer. Brush and floss your dental crown, just like you clean your natural teeth.
The shiny, ancient history of dental crowns…
Dental crowns didn’t make their debut during the 20th or 21st century. No, this restorative treatment has been around longer than us, our parents, grandparents… even great-great-grandparents! Evidence of the very first examples of crown work date back 4,000 years ago to Southeast Asia. On the island of Luzon, skeletons with golden caps and tooth replacements were uncovered. The gold material represented wealth and was a status symbol. Hence, it was most common among the political rulers and chiefs.
Also interesting… In Italy, around 700 BC, the Etruscans also sported golden “caps” on their teeth. Just like the powerful people of the Philippines, they too liked to flaunt their wealth this way. But it was the Etruscans who were first to come up with the creation of the dental bridge. It was constructed of gold wire that held replacement teeth in place. How cool is that?
So, when did porcelain crowns first show up?
A doctor by the name of Charles Land was the first person to patent the first all-porcelain crown in 1903. From Detroit, he ended up earning the nickname “the father of porcelain dentistry.”
What are the different types of materials used in crowns?
We can restore your damaged teeth and greatly improve their strength, appearance, and longevity with custom-fitted porcelain crowns that allow us to achieve the color and contour of your natural teeth … so much so that it’s incredibly difficult to tell them from your natural teeth. Just imagine how great you’ll feel knowing you can chew on your favorite meals with ease. And what about all those great smile opportunities you won’t hesitate to take? You’ll be able to flash your smile and share your enthusiasm and happiness with those around you – without hesitation. Nothing beats it!
In case you’re interested, here are some of the other common crown materials:
- metals such as palladium, chromium, and nickel
- resin (less expensive but prone to breaking and needing replacement)
- pressed ceramic crowns.
How do I know if I need a dental crown vs a filling?
As your neighborhood dentist, we will give you the necessary information and advice to help them make an educated decision. Remember, something you need to need to keep in mind that protecting your teeth, and keeping them in the best condition, is a better health choice all around.
How much do crowns typically cost?
Talk to us about the types of crowns that are available for your unique recommended treatment. Crowns do have a cost range that depends on the material used, what tooth is being crowned, and why. Insurance coverage will also impact cost so it’s best to come in for a consultation. We’ll assess your current situation and determine if a crown is the best smile solution for you. If it is, we can request a predetermination (estimate) from your insurance company to get coverage details for you and we will answer all your questions thoroughly and in clear language so that together, we can make the best decision for your smile.
Is a dental crown the right option for your smile? Please call us, your dentist in Newton Centre at (617) 928-9299 today for your consultation!