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Dental crowns: Everything you need to know

Types, materials and usage

What is a dental crown?

Dental crownsDental crowns represent a type of denture which replace the natural crown of teeth. The natural crown of a tooth is the part of a tooth above the tooth root and the gum (or gingival margin).

When is a dental crown needed?

Patients need a dental crown when caries (tooth decay) has damaged their tooth is so badly that a dental filling or dental inlay doesn’t offer an effective solution anymore. Also dental crowns are necessary if the patient had lost a tooth and in its place they have a dental implant.

What materials are used for dental crowns?

There are five different types of dental crowns. These differ in several aspects.

  • Metal crowns are usually applied in less visible areas. The reason is that they aren’t tooth coloured being made of metal.
  • Porcelain fused to metal crowns (PFM) consist of metal in the inside and of synthetic materials or ceramic layers on the outside.
  • An other type of dental crowns is the all-ceramic dental crown, entirely made of ceramic. All-ceramic crowns are very aesthetic. This makes them the most expensive type of dental crowns. Patients usually require all-ceramic crowns for the visible teeth areas in order to fine-tune the aesthetic of the teeth, since all-ceramic crowns are the most similar to natural crowns.
  • The so-called galvanic gold dental crowns are similar to all ceramic dental crowns in several aspects, like quality and aesthetic. But they are stabilised on a base frame of upscale gold alloys.
  • A partial dental crown is inserted into the inside of the tooth, if the visible part of the tooth isn’t so badly damaged. Partial crowns are applied in order to prevent or avoid the use of a complete crown.

How much does a dental crown cost?

The costs of a dental crown depend on several factors, such as the manufacturer, the materials and the type of the dental crown. Ceramic crowns are the most expensive. The costs are approximately at 1260 $ in the US, and at 400 $ in Hungary. The cheapest material is a combination of metal and ceramic. A metal-ceramic crown is 750 $ in the US and 210 $ in Hungary. Veneered and cast crowns are in the price range of about 10-280 $ in Hungary, while they cost about 710-850 $ in the US.

How to maintain dental crowns?

Modern dental crowns are easy to clean. Still, potential leftovers and bacteria can accumulate on the denture. This causes bad breath, inflammation of the gum and discoloration of the dental crown. Therefore when it comes to dental crowns – or to dentures generally -, you must clean them with the same tools you use for natural teeth: toothbrushes, dental floss and oral douche. Also you should go to the dentist’s for a professional cleansing every six months.

Dental crowns: Everything you need to know
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