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  • Writer's pictureTinWai Ip

Spotlight on: Crown Material

Dental crowns, often called 'caps', serve to protect teeth that have been weakened by root canal treatment, tooth fractures, lost fillings, and other treatment or can serve as part of a design feature in complete smile makeovers.

Bridges are a good aesthetic option to fill spaces of missing teeth. Your healthy tooth beside the space is prepared for a crown. The lab creates the bridge so that a crown sits on your prepared tooth and an attached false tooth fills the space.

What to expect:

· Multiple impressions of your teeth before and after trimming your natural tooth to create space for the crown

· Temporary crown placed to protect the preparation and prevent sensitivity whilst your bridge is carefully crafted by our lab

· Your approval of colour and design of crown/ bridge before final cementing

· Review appointments as needed to adjust how you bite together as it settles in

There are many different options for choosing the material for your dental crown or bridge. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider the main concern with your affected tooth and choose the material accordingly.

Typical material options for a dental crown include:

1) Porcelain Fused to Metal

2) Ceramic (Zirconia)

3) Metal (60% Gold)

With dental crowns and bridges, the decision is a balance between strength and beauty.

Strength versus Beauty:

1) Porcelain has a translucent quality that reflects light similar to your natural teeth. However, it is brittle in thin sections, so it is layered on a metal base for strength. Porcelain is able to reproduce the beauty of your natural tooth, but, in thin sections, the metal underneath can show through.

2) Ceramic quality has drastically improved and is continuing to improve with the advances in dental technology. Zirconia has a hardness that has proved itself against metal-based crowns in a 5 year study. (Carlo Monaco, 2017). In comparison to the aesthetics of porcelain, zirconia has denser opacity to it. Depending of your tooth (generally for a front tooth), a layered zirconia crown can be designed to blend the benefits of both materials.

3) Gold alloy crowns are at least 60% gold. They are a popular choice as dental crowns for back teeth with a long dependable history. The margins of the crown are burnished (smoothed) when placed onto your tooth, leaving a seamless finish. The gold crown is resistant to fracture, wear and won’t wear down the tooth it bites on. Since it is a metal crown, it has high strength even in thin sections, which means, that less of your natural tooth structure needs to be taken away to place this dental crown.

Have a discussion with your dentist to decide which material is most suitable for you.

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