What you need to know about dental crowns

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What you need to know about dental crowns

The crown is the apparent part of the tooth, the one that makes us such a lovely smile of enamel. It is also the name given to the prosthesis that attaches to a tooth to protect it. From synthetic crowns of various materials and different types, they meet medical, aesthetic, but also economic criteria.

The placement of a prosthetic crown by the dentist is never a part of the pleasure. It is necessary when a damaged tooth is damaged to the point that a simple sealing by an amalgam or resin is not enough. The causes of this embrittlement of the tooth are various: a substantial decay, a fracture of the tooth or a devitalization. A tooth that has been devitalized is indeed much more prone to fractures than a living tooth.

Dental crowns metal and economic

We all have in mind this horrible “Shark” grinning at James Bond with his steel smile. In general, metal crowns are reserved for molars and premolars for aesthetic reasons. The most economical are the crowns made of a metal alloy of nickel and chromium. It goes without saying that this alloy is forbidden to people allergic to nickel and black traces can appear on the gum. Crowns made of semi-precious or precious metal do not present an allergic risk but are more expensive.

Ceramics: the aesthetic choice

Without allergic risk, well selected ceramic approaches the natural shade of the teeth. Despite its high price, this material is naturally favored for the anterior teeth. More reliable and notably cheaper, ceramic-metal crowns associate a metal base covered with ceramic. The latter may nevertheless reveal a metal net over time. Ceramic and metal-ceramic crowns are the most widely used.

The inlay-core for the most damaged

When the tooth is damaged, the dentist consolidates it before the crown is laid but can leave it alive. In some more delicate cases, the degradation of the tooth is too great, and a sort of forestay must be laid. This false stump, called inlay-core, requires devitalization of the tooth. It is placed by the dentist at the root level. It is the piece that will bear the crown in place of the tooth.

The crown on the implant

The question of the implant arises when a tooth has been extracted. A titanium screw can then be fixed in the maxillary bone to replace the dental root. The crown comes either directly attached to this titanium implant or via an inlay-core previously set on the implant.

The production of crowns

Crowns are manufactured by a dental technician. This can take time, which is why the dentist places a temporary crown on his work. The temporary crown preserves the work, ensures the role of the tooth, and prevents neighbors from taking up the free space. Some dentists invest in a robot capable of synthesizing ceramic crowns in a very short time. In this case, everything is done in the dental office in just a few hours. However, this achievement does not seem to be at the level of that of the prosthetist.

The life span of the crowns

On average, a dental crown lasts 10 to 15 years. The life span depends on the materials used, but also and especially on oral hygiene. The life span is therefore extremely variable. Provisional crowns are not intended to remain in place for more than a few months. Nevertheless, some difficult works cause some people to keep them for up to 2 years.

Complications due to crowns

Complications can occur after placing a dental crown. Isolated pain, free from infection and rapidly occurring, is the sign of a small size of the prosthesis.

Also, infections should be taken seriously since they can spread to the rest of the body. Initially, the infection is localized in the form of a cyst or an abscess. However, bacteria can borrow bloodstream to gain the entire body.

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