Living with missing or damaged teeth can make it difficult to move your mouth normally when you speak or chew. Despite the inconveniences, the average adult between the ages of 20 and 64 has three or more missing or decayed teeth.
A dental crown can resolve your functional and cosmetic dental problems. These prosthetic devices can help maintain the shape of your face by preventing bone loss in your jaw and stopping your natural teeth from shifting into the gaps left by missing teeth.
At Nataly Vilderman DDS in San Francisco, California, dentist Nataly Vilderman helps patients use crowns to restore a natural-looking smile and full dental function. Our staff ensures that your crowns last as long as possible by helping you select the materials most appropriate for your tooth replacement needs.
Find out more about crowns and how you can extend the life of these durable replacement teeth.
A dental crown functions as a tooth-shaped “cap” that covers a damaged tooth or fills a gap left by a missing tooth. The device is fitted to the unique size and structure of your mouth based on an impression provided by your dentist.
A crown can be used to achieve the following goals:
A crown is permanently cemented over the damaged tooth or implant. Only a dentist can remove a crown.
In some cases, a temporary crown may be used to cover or protect a damaged tooth or gap until a permanent crown is manufactured by a dental laboratory.
Crowns are available in a variety of materials. The material you choose depends on the location of the tooth and the purpose of the crown. Many materials can be personalized to match the exact shade of your natural tooth for aesthetic reasons.
Crowns can be made from the following materials:
Metal: Gold, palladium, nickel, and chromium are metals commonly used to manufacture dental crowns. These strong materials rarely break or chip and typically last the longest of any crown material. Since their metallic color can be distracting, metal crowns are often reserved for teeth at the back of your mouth that aren’t readily visible to others.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal: Crowns manufactured from this combination of materials can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. This type of crown may be appropriate if you’re replacing or repairing a tooth that’s more visible in the front of your mouth. The metal in these crowns makes them among the longest-lasting materials for dental crowns.
All-resin: Crowns made of resin are typically the least expensive. While they can be matched to your tooth color, they wear down quickly and can break more easily than crowns manufactured from metals.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain: Ceramic and porcelain crowns deliver the most natural-looking colors. They are typically a good choice for front teeth and may be necessary if you have a metal allergy. One drawback is their tendency to wear down the teeth opposite them in your mouth.
Stainless steel: These crowns are prefabricated crowns typically used as a temporary measure to protect permanent teeth until a permanent crown is manufactured. Stainless steel crowns are typically used for children’s teeth because they are relatively inexpensive and don’t require multiple visits for placement.
While you can expect a crown to last between 5 and 15 years, many crowns last a lifetime.
The lifespan of your crown depends on how well you take care of your mouth and the extent of wear-and-tear that your crown experiences during normal use. This can vary based on the material used to manufacture your crown, the position of the crown in your mouth, and the condition of the teeth surrounding your crown.
You can ensure that you get the longest possible wear from your crown by practicing good oral hygiene. Twice-daily brushing, flossing once a day, and regular dental checkups can help you maintain healthy teeth and gums that will continue to support your crowns as long as possible.
Grinding or clenching your teeth can make your crowns susceptible to damage. Other habits like chewing ice, using your teeth as tools, and biting your fingernails can also reduce the lifespan of your crown.
Find out more about the ways a crown can correct functional and cosmetic issues. Call our office today to schedule a consultation.