Do You Need A Crown?
Dental crowns are one of the most common restorations that people need on their teeth. The dentists at Alabama Family Dentists in Birmingham, Warrior, Sumiton and Gardendale are regularly asked the question, “Do I really need a crown?.” It is a perfectly reasonable question since crowns can be expensive and dental insurance doesn’t usually cover the complete cost.
A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that permanently covers teeth. They are frequently recommended because a dental crown is often the best option to extend the life of a tooth for many years to come. They are often recommended when teeth are decayed, broken, worn or severely stained. Or if a tooth has a large filling, where there is not much tooth remaining, a crown may save the tooth and keep the patient from having to have an implanted tooth or partial implant.
What Are Your Options?
In some cases, while a crown is one option, there can be others. You might be able to get by with a filling. Keep in mind, however, that a filling does not prevent you from needing a crown later on. Also, if a substantial portion of your tooth needs filling, a better solution is usually the crown because fillings do not give you the same kind of protection as crowns do. Also, if the filling is really large, it can cause the tooth to break, making it irreparable.
Appearance of a Crown
You may not know that crowns come in a variety of materials such as metal, ceramic, porcelain, and resin. So, aside from the aesthetic differences, crowns also vary in cost and function. It’s good to be informed of your options. Crowns made of porcelain or ceramic are recommended for cosmetic dentistry and when you want an exact match to your tooth’s natural color. Keep in mind, however, that one type of crown, where the porcelain is fused to metal, may initially look the same as all-porcelain or all-ceramic crown, but as time goes by and natural wear occurs, some of the metal may begin to show through. If you have receding gums, this may not be the best choice.
Difference in Function
When it comes to standing the test of time, metal crowns are the way to go. They are the most durable and resistant to chipping. However, if you’ve ever seen someone with these types of crowns laugh or open wide, it’s quite obvious that they aren’t exactly the most aesthetically pleasing choice. That’s why your dentist may recommend ceramic or porcelain as an alternative option. The downside to ceramic and porcelain crowns is that they are more vulnerable to chipping. As we mentioned above, one type of crown that has porcelain or ceramic fused to metal, offers the strength of the metal without sacrificing the look of porcelain or ceramic.
While most dental insurance covers part of your investment, be aware that there are distinctions in cost as well. The least expensive of your options are typically resin crowns. Keep in mind that crowns really are an investment. If you choose to pay for the cheaper option, your resin caps may chip or wear down more over time, requiring a replacement. On the other hand, a porcelain crown is typically more expensive than a gold crown, and a gold crown was typically more expensive than porcelain fused to metal crown. Other factors impact the cost of crowns, such as the location of the tooth, the materials used and the extent of your problem.
The dentists at Alabama Family Dentist will help you in your decision as to which type of crown would be best for you. Alabama Family Dentists have 4 convenient locations in north Alabama, Birmingham, Warrior, Gardendale and Sumiton.