How to Choose the Best Type of Dental Crown for You
Find the best type of dental crown for you.
Dental crowns are unmatched in their ability to restore and protect the health and function of a tooth that’s been severely damaged by injury or decay. They’re so perfectly designed for this that they can even save a tooth that you might otherwise lose. If you need a dental crown, you have a surprisingly wide range of options when it comes to what material will be used to make it. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by these choices at first, but everyone has different treatment needs and goals, so the wide range of materials you get to choose from ensures that you can make the best choice for you.
With all these options available, you may find yourself wondering, “What is the best dental crown material, and when are different types of dental crowns the best choice?” To help you understand and navigate your choices, we’ve put together a guide on some of the more common types of dental crowns you can choose from.
Despite their name, silver crowns aren’t pure silver; instead, they’re made up of several different types of metals. These metals make the crown incredibly durable and more resistant to chipping, cracking, and breaking than other types of crowns. This strength means that silver crowns are thinner than other types of crowns, so your dentist can remove less healthy tooth material during the placement process. They’re also able to withstand significant wear and tear, so they have the potential to last 20 years or more, potentially lasting a lifetime if you take good care of them. Despite this, they’re one of the least expensive crown options out there, making them a good investment for some patients.
Silver crowns are sensitive to changes in temperature, however, which can cause tooth sensitivity when you consume hot or cold foods and drinks. This can also cause the metal to expand and contract with changing temperatures, potentially causing the crown to loosen or crack over time, so it’s important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure your crown is still in good shape.
Since silver crowns do stand out in your mouth, it’s best to use them on your back molars where they’re less visible and you can get the most out of their durability. Silver or metal crowns are particularly helpful if you clench or grind your teeth regularly, as they can withstand the pressure without damage. That said, if you have a metal allergy or sensitivity, they’re likely not a good option for you.
Stainless steel crowns are safe, easy to clean, and strong, but they’re not as durable as other types of metal crowns. With proper care, they’ll only last about four years. This might sound like a deal-breaker, but it makes them ideal for use as pediatric dental crowns. Stainless steel crowns are inexpensive, making them a budget-friendly option. This is especially attractive to many parents because pediatric crowns don’t need to last too long.
Like other metal crowns, stainless steel crowns stand out on kids’ teeth as well, but their strength protects baby teeth from further damage until the tooth is ready to fall out naturally. When it’s time, the crown and baby tooth will come out together just as easily as other baby teeth do.
Gold is the oldest known material used in dental crowns, and there’s a reason we’ve been using it so long! Modern gold crowns contain other metals like nickel or chromium for added strength and durability, so they’re strong, require the removal of less healthy tooth structure during the placement process, and are resistant to chipping, cracking, or breaking. Gold is a soft metal, so even with the added strength, these crowns are gentler on your surrounding teeth than other metal crowns. This makes them less likely to wear down the adjacent teeth than silver or metal crowns, which is particularly great for people who often clench or grind their teeth.
While gold crowns are less likely to spark a metal allergy or sensitivity, they still can because they do contain other metals, so it’s wise to make sure you won’t have a bad reaction before you choose a metal crown. Like other metal crowns, gold crowns are very visible, often even in the back of your mouth, so they’re usually placed on molars. The other metals contained in gold crowns reduce their cost, but they’re still more expensive than silver or stainless steel crowns. Despite this, they remain a popular choice that can last decades or even a lifetime with proper care.
If you want a dental crown that will restore—or even improve—the appearance of your smile, porcelain crowns are a great option. Porcelain crowns are custom-made for you down to the smallest detail. You’ll be able to help choose their size, shape, and shade, ensuring they blend into your smile like a natural tooth. Porcelain crowns blend in so well that others won’t know you have a dental crown unless you tell them!
These types of crowns use advanced dental technology to create a great fit, making them more comfortable and allowing your dentist to remove less of your tooth during the placement process. In some cases, porcelain crowns can even be designed, milled, and placed on your tooth in a single appointment, so you may only have to visit our office once to get your dental crown.
Porcelain crowns are durable and stain-resistant, but they’re not as strong as metal crowns and are more vulnerable to chipping, cracking, and breaking. Despite this, they’re still durable enough to be placed on your front teeth or molars without a problem—though they may not be the best choice if you clench or grind your teeth regularly. There are ways to work around this, however, such as by wearing a nightguard to sleep, so don’t be afraid to ask your dentist about solutions! With proper care and great oral hygiene, porcelain crowns can often last 15 years or more.
This type of crown is made of a metal base that’s coated in a layer of porcelain, which can be matched to the shade and gloss of your natural teeth so the crown blends in with your natural smile. This allows them to gain the strength of metal crowns and the appearance of porcelain crowns, making them a great middle ground for many people. In many ways, however, these crowns are beautiful metal crowns, so they share many of the same downsides as metal crowns, including the potential to trigger metal allergies or temperature sensitivities.
Their strength makes them a great choice for molar placement, but it also means they can wear down the opposite tooth. They’re also often placed on molars because the metal can stain your gums over time, potentially leading to a visible gray line underneath your tooth. This line isn’t noticeable when the crown is on your molars, though, because your gums don’t show there. Despite these drawbacks, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are popular because they offer the strength and durability of metal crowns while erasing their main drawback by looking like a naturally beautiful part of your smile.
Reach out to The Tooth Doc team to learn more about your dental crown options.
Advanced dental technology and materials mean that today’s dental crowns are more effective than ever, managing to be strong and durable for decades with proper care. They can even become a beautiful, natural part of your smile. If you’d like to learn more about the types of dental crowns you can choose from and what may be best for you from your dentist in Omaha, feel free to schedule an appointment at any time.