There are different types of Dental Crowns and Veneers available, which have been detailed below. Your dentist at West Wickham Dental Practice will always discuss the best option for your individual case with you.
A veneer, often referred to as a smile makeover, is a thin layer of white material, usually porcelain that fits over the front surface of the tooth to improve the colour, shape and position of your teeth.
They can be used to improve a single discoloured tooth or to lighten the front teeth, they can make a chipped tooth look intact again or close small gaps and bring a misaligned tooth back into line.
A veneer is glued onto your existing tooth and can make your teeth look natural, whiter and healthier and can be done in 2 visits. The first to prepare the tooth and to match the shade, and the second to fit it.
Dental crowns are a form of tooth restoration that completely or partially caps a broken down or root canal treated tooth. It is also used to complete a dental implant procedure by attaching the crown to the dental implant after placement. Crowns can also be used to improve the aesthetic appearance of worn down, discoloured or mis-shaped teeth.
Dental crowns are a more permanent alternative to white filling material in the re-building of tooth structure. They typically last between 5-10 years and can be extended up to 50 years with proper care. The biggest factors affecting the longevity of dental crowns are; maintaining good oral hygiene, following strict aftercare guidelines as recommended by your dentist (e.g. night guards to prevent damage from grinding), material used, the skill of the dentist, and the quality of the dental laboratory fabricating the crown.
Patients often choose to have their teeth whitened before having dental crowns fitted, and the crown is usually matched to the newer, whiter shade of the patients teeth. Please be aware that the shade of your natural teeth over time will fade, whilst that of the crown will remain the same. As such, you will need to maintain the shade of your natural with regular teeth whitening treatments. The frequency of these treatments is usually determined by your oral hygiene and in particular, your diet.
The quality of gold crowns is determined primarily by its gold content. The higher the gold content the higher the crown quality. High quality dental crowns are considered to have at least 40% gold content. Full gold crowns are known to be the strongest and longest lasting type of crown material, often referred to as the ‘gold standard’ by dentists. This is partly due to the fact that it is fabricated as a single whole piece. The main disadvantage of gold crowns is their aesthetic appearance; although some patients prefer it.
Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns
These are the most common type of crown material used in dental practices due to it’s better aesthetics and lower cost compared to gold crowns. It consists of a high compressive strength porcelain veneer attached to a metal alloy base, with the porcelain giving it the tooth coloured appearance. The shade/colour and shape of the porcelain covering is usually matched as closely as possible to that of the surrounding teeth for good aesthetics.
All Ceramic Crowns
These crowns (e.g. EMAX) are fabricated from single solid blocks of porcelain or other pressed ceramic materials. Due to the nature of their fabrication, they are generally stronger than porcelain fused to metal crowns, and wear far more slowly at almost the same rate as a healthy natural tooth, giving it much better longevity than the latter. All-ceramic crowns also give much better shade matching and are available in much whiter shades than other options giving them a much higher aesthetic appearance, especially if you are considering teeth whitening.
Other types of re-enforced ceramic crowns are also available such as Zirconia and Empress crowns, which use stronger materials to form the core of the crown giving it a much higher strength without compromising its aesthetics. Compared to porcelain and metal crowns, they are also less like to fracture as the core is the porcelain cover is moulded in to the core rather than being bonded to it.