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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?

A dental crown is needed when a tooth is so badly damaged by caries or tooth decay, that a dental filling or dental inlay doesn’t offer an effective solution anymore. Also dental crowns are applied if a tooth was lost and a dental implant has already been inserted in its place.

What materials are used for dental crowns?

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

  • Metal crowns – since they aren’t tooth coloured as they consist of metal – are more likely to be applied in less visible areas.
  • 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 are the all-ceramic dental crown, which are entirely made of ceramic. All-ceramic crowns are very aesthetic, which makes them the most expensive type of dental crowns. All-ceramic crowns are applied to 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 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 manufacture, materials, effort and the type of the dental crown. Ceramic crowns are the most expensive, the costs are approximately at 940 € in Western Europe, and in Hungary at 320 €. The cheaper material is a combination of metal and ceramic, a metal-ceramic crown is 590 € in Western Europe and 190 € in Hungary. Veneered and cast crowns are in the price range of about 200-250 € in Hungary, which cost about 500-600 € in Western Europe.

How to maintain dental crowns?

Modern dental crowns are easy to clean. Still, potential leftovers and bacteria can accumulate on the denture leading to bad breath, inflammation of the gum and discoloration of the dental crown. Therefore it is important to know that when it comes to dental crowns – or to dentures generally -, the proper cleansing must be done with the same tools one uses for natural teeth: toothbrushes, dental floss and oral douche. Also a professional cleansing should be done at the dentist’s every six months, as advised.

Dental crowns: Everything you need to know
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November 18, 2017