Your dentist can recommend a dental crown for your front teeth to not only restore their strength and function, but also enhance the appearance and natural form for a better looking smile.
Also known as tooth caps or dental caps, crowns can be used for either cosmetic or restoration purposes to cap a dental implant or tooth. Crowns are normally bonded to the tooth using a specific type of dental cement, such that they encase the whole visible portion of a tooth that lies above the gum line.
Why are crowns used for front teeth?
Your dentist may suggest placing a crown on a front tooth for a number of reasons, but the primary ones include:
- To improve the tooth’s appearance (in terms of shape, color, and alignment)
Any kind of damage to the teeth that reduces the enamel and shortens the teeth, such as bruxism, or severe discoloration, can be fixed with dental crowns. Crowns can be used to adjust the shape, size, and color of your teeth while protecting them from decay due to the loss of enamel.
- To reinforce a structurally compromised tooth (repair and strengthen)
Crowns can be used to protect a weak tooth (such as one suffering from decay) and prevent it from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth. If your tooth is excessively decayed or damaged for a simple filling, your dentist may recommend a crown to protect the remaining healthy portion. A portion of the tooth must be removed to get rid of all the decay and bacteria, and then a crown placed to keep the bacteria away.
- To restore or alter a tooth’s shape
Crowns can be used to restore a front tooth that is already broken or severely worn down. A fractured tooth, whether the breakage is big or small, can cause excruciating pain and other problems. A crown can help restore a damaged tooth by first removing the fractured portion, and then reshaping the tooth to prevent microfractures from spreading and causing more pain. Similarly, a crown can also be placed over front teeth that are widely spaced to increase their width and reduce the gap between two adjacent teeth.
- To hold a dental bridge in place in case you have a missing tooth (gap)
A bridge refers to a prosthetic tooth that is bonded to adjacent teeth to fill a gap between them. The adjacent teeth must be prepared for bonding by shaving off some of the enamel to create space for abutment crowns that support the bridge.
- To cover a dental implant
If you have a missing front tooth, your dentist may choose to replace it with a single implant and a cap that fits perfectly into a dental crown, providing you with a natural-looking, stable replacement.
Other uses of dental crowns
Other instances when a dental crown may be necessary include:
- To cover a tooth with a huge filling that is unsupported by the small amount of tooth structure remaining
- To hold together bits of a cracked, weak tooth to keep it from breaking, like in the case of decay
- To restore fractured or cracked teeth
- To restore teeth after endodontic treatment or root canal
- To conceal misshaped or excessively discolored teeth
- To hold a dental bridge at the rightful place
To restore one’s ability to chew and speak properly by resisting mastication forces
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best material for crowning front teeth?
Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth to give you a natural look, though there are other materials that can be used, including gold and metal alloys and acrylic and ceramic. These combinations are generally stronger than porcelain, and are mostly recommended for back teeth. Porcelain bonded to a metal shell is mostly used because it is both strong and attractive.
What is the process of replacing crowns on front teeth?
On your first visit, the dentist will take a few X-rays to evaluate the roots of the target teeth and surrounding bone. If the tooth is severely fractured or decayed, or if there is risk of injury or infection to the tooth’s pulp, a root canal may be recommended before placing the crown.
Otherwise, the actual process entails:
- Preparation of the affected teeth
- Taking the impression
- Placement of a temporary crown
- Construction of your all-porcelain crown
- Final placement of your custom all-porcelain crown
How long do crowns last on front teeth?
Crowning your front teeth to enhance their looks is a worthwhile investment because the treatment can be expected to last between fifteen and thirty years depending on the type of material used, which is generally longer than crowns placed on molars. Gold and Zirconia crowns typically last a lifetime, while metal crowns can easily last over two decades, with all-porcelain and porcelain blends being the least durable. But even if they need to be replaced within five to eight years, your dental insurance cover may not have any problems paying for the procedure after this long.
How long do porcelain crowns last on front teeth?
All porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are typically used for restoring any visible teeth, including front teeth, and can last for 5 to 15 years with proper maintenance. This material is preferred because of its cosmetic appeal, since it looks similar to your natural teeth, making it nearly impossible for someone to distinguish natural from crowned teeth in your smile.
Not sure if all-porcelain front crowns are right for you?
Finally, it is important to note that crowns provide the perfect way to preserve your natural teeth provided there is enough of healthy tooth left over after a procedure, allowing you to restore function, look, and feel without the need for extraction.
When you are looking to improve your smile, all-porcelain crowns are a lovely and natural looking choice. To find out more about the procedure, and the specifics of your case, please get in touch with a cosmetic dentist for crown placement near you.