Though often feared, our trips to the dentist are the best way to save our teeth. Regular dental cleanings can catch defects and diseases before they begin, or before they become destructive, and help to reverse the damage. Once our teeth get to the point of irreversible damage, there are many ways that dentists can restore our mouths to as close to its original form and beauty as possible.
Crowns are one way our dental health and the condition of our mouth can be restored. The basic definition of a crown is a type of dental restoration that completely encircles a tooth or a dental implant. Often suggested by dentists when a patient has a tooth decaying from a large cavity, crowns are made with various different materials and are applied to the tooth or dental implant using dental cement.
Crowns also have multiple purposes; one is to improve the strength of a tooth, but to also improve the beauty and aesthetics of the mouth. Though the use of crowns is most assuredly beneficial to our dental health, the procedure can be quite an expensive process.
How are crowns made?
The most popular method of making crowns is to fabricate the crown outside of the mouth by using a model or dental impression of the prepared tooth. The crown is then inserted at a later dental appointment. The fabrication is time consuming, and this indirect method is often the most expensive due to the amount of time and work involved in fabricating a tooth outside of the mouth. Firing porcelain, casting metal, along with the use of intense heat, creates a strong, durable, long-lasting crown, but certainly cannot be done while working inside the patient’s mouth.
Crowns fabricated with gold, are often chosen by patients because the materials and processing are not any more expensive than a regular crown. As with just about every other industry, technology has made its way into crown production, using computer programs like CAD/CAM dentistry.