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How long do dental crowns last and are the white ones strong?
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3 months ago

A dental crown is also known as a “cap”. It’s an artificial restoration that covers or encloses an entire existing tooth. The purpose is to make the tooth stronger while giving it the shape and look of a natural tooth. A dental crown is recommended when restoring broken teeth and strengthening teeth weakened by decay or a large filling. It creates major shape and colour changes for the tooth.

Crowns are thick and usually measure two millimetres or more in thickness. They are thick because the tooth that requires it is trimmed first before the covering is placed. What the dentist does is reduce the tooth in shape and size, and then taper it to a nub. Usually, the amount trimmed is at least two millimetres. Depending on what the tooth requires, the dentist may decide to reduce more or less than that amount. In general, crowns are durable and guaranteed to last many years, especially when taken care of. Your dentist will inform you for how long your crown would last. Note that when you’ve had a crown placed on a tooth, from that moment on, that tooth will always require a crown. It’s an irreversible treatment.

Crowns can be made from various materials such as porcelain, gold, and metal. A crown made entirely of porcelain provides a more natural appearance compared to other materials. Its natural aesthetic appearance is achieved through its processing, where it acquires an opalescent and translucent colouring. Another advantage is that it easily bonds chemically with the tooth enamel, making the tooth stronger. However, it’s not as strong as bonded crowns. It’s best applied on the front teeth.

Gold crowns have been in use for many decades already and is the preferred material of some patients. Its durability is due to the fact that the wear characteristics of gold shares similarities with natural tooth enamel, and gold protects your tooth structure. Gold crowns can be formed using less than one millimetre thick of material, thus needing minimal tooth preparation. It’s most effective when applied on the back teeth.

The crown material combination of porcelain bonded to metal also combines the purpose of aesthetic and strength. Take the natural tooth-coloured aesthetic of porcelain, and combine it with a durable precious metal and you have the best of both worlds that results in a stronger, more durable crown. The use of a precious metal is highly recommended because of its ideal biocompatibility with gums. It is this biocompatibility which lessens the risk of corrosion and inflammation.

If you think you need to have a dental crown placement, consult your Oatlands dentist. It will require at least two visits. The first is to examine and assess the condition of your tooth, take dental impressions, match the shade of the tooth, and fit a temporary crown. The second appointment typically takes place after one to two weeks, and involves fitting the permanent crown. If there are problems regarding the fit, your dentist can make the necessary adjustments.

Dr Neil Paryani

BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)

Dr Poonam Paryani

BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)

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