Pros and Cons of Dental Crowns

When the crown procedure is completed, the patient’s teeth become stronger and more attractive because crowns are created and designed to look natural and to improve the tooth’s appearance. Crowns are intended to last for up to 8 years and it can even last for a much longer period of time when the patient observes good oral hygiene and avoid damaging habits like teeth grinding, ice chewing and fingernail biting.

When the crowned tooth has a retained nerve in it, patient may experience some hot and cold sensitivity especially between the edge of the crown and the gum line. To minimize this tendency, dentist usually recommends brushing with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth. Pain that occurs during biting sometime result from crown that is set too high on the tooth. If this is the case, call the dentist so that he can easily fix this problem.

Aside from the sensitivity issues, there are also some slight drawbacks on having teeth crowns when the cement washes out from under the crown. When this happen, the crown become loose and it can allow bacteria to leak in and cause decay to the tooth that remains.

Sometimes crowns may also fall off. This may happen because of improper fit or lack of cement surrounding the crown. If this happens, clean the crown or replace the crown temporarily by using dental adhesive or temporary tooth cement and immediately contact the dentist as soon as possible.

But all of these can be prevented if the patient will refrain from chewing hard food or biting ice or other hard objects. Teeth grinding must be also avoided. Besides regular visits to the dentist and brushing twice daily, cleaning between teeth is vital with crowns. Floss or interdental cleaners are important tools to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.

There are also some advantages and disadvantages that are specific to each type crowns. Tooth crown made from gold is the simplest and least complicated type of crown because the removal of tooth structure is very minimal leaving healthier tooth structure to remain. Fitting gold crowns to the area where the tooth and crown meet are also much easier. Gold crown is not hard and does not cause any wearing on opposing teeth even after several years. The only disadvantage of gold crown is that it does not look appealing or attractive when placed in front mouth.

Tooth crowns prepared and made from porcelain or new reinforced resin are said to be the most aesthetically satisfying because this material comes with different shades that can easily matched to the color of the surrounding teeth. However, porcelain crowns require the dentist to remove more tooth structure regardless whether the structure is healthy or not because porcelain needs a specific thickness to appear attractive. Porcelain crowns are more difficult to fit in between gums and the crown itself requiring higher level of dexterity from the dentist and crown fabricator. Gingival inflammation is the common drawback in porcelain crowns. Crowns made of all-porcelain can sometimes chip. If the chip is small, a composite resin can be used to repair the chip with the crown remaining in the patient’s mouth. If the chipping is extensive, the crown may need to be replaced.

To minimize the disadvantages of using all Porcelain crowns, an alternative porcelain fused-to-metal crowns can be fabricated. This porcelain fused to metal crown has a very natural teeth facade but since it has a metal base, a darker line will be noticeable at the edge of the crown near the gum when the crown recedes as time goes by.