What is Crown? A Deep Dive into Dental Crowns

April 02, 2024

Introduction: Ever found yourself thinking, "What is a crown?" No, we're not talking about a shiny piece of headgear for royalty. Instead, we're diving into the realm of dentistry and exploring the ins and outs of dental crowns. Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a toothsome ride!

What is Crown? Ah, the million-dollar question! A dental crown, sometimes colloquially known as a "cap", is essentially a tooth-shaped "cap" that's placed over a tooth. It's designed to restore the tooth's shape, size, strength, and to improve its appearance. When cemented into place, the crown fully encases the visible portion of a tooth that lies above the gum line.

Why Get a Crown? The Top Reasons

  • Tooth Decay: If you've been hitting the candy jar a bit too hard, your tooth might be saying, "Help! I can't handle this damage!" A crown can come to the rescue.
  • Broken or Worn Teeth: Had one too many jawbreakers? Crowns help when teeth are broken or excessively worn down.
  • Cosmetic Enhancement: Sometimes, we all want that picture-perfect Hollywood smile.
  • Holding a Bridge in Place: Like a sturdy pillar on a bridge, a crown provides essential support.

Types of Dental Crowns: Not a One-Size-Fits-All

  • Metal Crowns: Gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium are the rockstars here. They last long and can really take a bite, but their color stands out.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal: A balance of durability and looks. However, sometimes the metal under the crown's porcelain cap can show through as a dark line.

The Procedure: No, It Doesn't Really Hurt!

  1. First Visit - Examination and Tooth Preparation: Here, the dentist will check out your tooth and might take a few X-rays. The tooth (and its neighbor) gets a shape-up to accommodate the crown.
  2. Impression Time: Post preparation, an impression of your tooth is taken to craft the crown.
  3. Temporary Crown: No, you don't walk out looking like a pirate. You get a temporary crown till the permanent one is ready.

Life with a Crown: What to Expect

  • Adjustment Phase: Like breaking in a new pair of shoes, it might feel odd initially.
  • Chewing: It'll be business as usual in no time.
  • Longevity: With proper care, crowns can last a lifetime. Well, at least a good many years.

Dental Crown Vs. Filling: What's the Difference? Now, here's the rub. While fillings fill in the missing parts of a tooth, a crown, as its name suggests, sits royally over the damaged tooth, covering it.

Dental Crown Costs: Breaking Down the Moolah Let's face it, dental work isn't cheap. Depending on the material and the complexity, crowns can vary in cost. Always a good idea to check in with your dentist and insurance.

FAQs about Dental Crowns

  1. Do dental crowns look natural? Absolutely! With the advancements in dentistry, they can be matched perfectly with your natural teeth.
  2. How long does the procedure take? Typically, two visits are required.
  3. Can a crowned tooth get cavities? The underlying tooth can, so proper oral hygiene is a must!
  4. Is the process painful? Generally, it's just a mild discomfort. Nothing you can't handle!
  5. How do I care for my crown? Brush, floss, rinse. Just like your other teeth!
  6. Do crowns stain over time? Porcelain crowns resist staining, but just like your natural teeth, excessive coffee or wine might leave a mark.

Conclusion: So, next time someone asks you, "What is crown?", you've got the lowdown. From the reasons to get one, to the types and procedure, dental crowns are more than just a royal accessory. They're the unsung heroes of the dental world, working quietly behind the scenes to give you that confident, radiant smile.