Dental crowns are a relatively new innovation in the world of cosmetic dentist. Simply put, they are a “cap” made of dental ceramic (also called composite resin) that is placed over the top of a prepared tooth.
Dental crowns are used to enhance and strengthen irreparably damaged teeth, but most dental procedures attract a lot of fear, and despite the commonality of dental crowns, few people actually understand what is involved in getting one, or in caring for it once you have it.
If you are looking at getting dental crown treatment, and have questions regarding its costs, what the procedure entails, why it’s done and how to care for your crowns, then read on and all your questions will be answered.
Where Did Dental Crowns Come From?
Dentistry, as a study, began around 5000 BC, when the Sumerians began developing theories and dictating causes around common dental problems. The most famous of these was the “dental worm”, which was attributed to tooth decay. Both Aristotle and Hippocrates have written about the fabled “dental worm”.
The dental crown was first invented around 200 AD by the Etruscans of Italy, who used gold and other metals to create a cap to fit over a damaged tooth, usually due to decay or surgery.
Professional dentists weren’t seen until medieval China, and dental surgery was first written about in Ambroise Pare’s book Complete Works by the end of the 1500s. The dental profession started to see a boom in popularity in the 18th century.
Ceramics were first used in dentistry in 1800, and a porcelain “jacket crown” was invented in the early 1900s by Charles H. Land. This crown was used until the 1950s, when the design was improved by E.B. Paulding.
This “jacket crown” was effective, but was highly susceptible to micro cracks that formed during the cooling process of manufacture.
The 1950s saw the use of zinc phosphate crowns, but these failed often. In the 1990s the first crown without a metal base was invented.
Since then however, crowns have been made out of a material called Polymethylmethacylite – otherwise known as dental ceramic, dental porcelain, or composite resin. It is strong, durable, significantly hard, inert (non-toxic/non-odorous), cheap, and easy to manufacture and use.
The Dental Crown Process
The dental crown procedure is one of many procedures that contains little to no pain. Cosmetic Dentist Melbourne are installed when a tooth is weak, if teeth need a bridge, or if teeth are irreparably damaged.
The dental crown process involves two visits to your dentist. On the first visit, your teeth will be examined to make sure that a crown is the best possible solution for you. After this the tooth, or teeth, will be filed down with the use of a drill in preparation for the crown. Once this has been done, the dentist takes an impression of the teeth using a device that the patient bites down on, leaving a mould of their bite.
Once this has been done, the patient has a temporary crown or bridge fitted, and the impression is sent to a dental laboratory. At the lab, the technicians use the impression to custom craft the appropriate bridge or crown so that it can fit properly in the mouth and look good among the other teeth. This can generally take a day or two.
Once the crown is completed, it will be sent to the dentist, where the second visit will be arranged. On the second visit, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent one will be fitted, and the patient’s bite tested. If the tests show that the crown is a bad fit, it will be sent back to the laboratory for adjustments. If it is a good fit (which it is the vast majority of the time), then it will be permanently fitted to the patient’s prepared tooth.
If you are getting a bridge (which is two crowns with a false tooth or “pontic” suspended between them, used to fully replace a missing tooth), the dental crown process is much the same.
The Cost of a Crown
The process of diagnosing how appropriate a crown is, preparing the area for the crown, creating it, and fitting it is a procedure that takes a lot of work, and while your insurance may cover a portion of the dental crown cost, it is still important to know how much you may be charged for the service.