You can whiten teeth covered with a cap

Dental crown: what you should know about dentures

Inserting a dental crown is one of the most common treatments performed by the dentist. Broken or carious teeth have to be crowned again and again. Find out everything about treatment, the different types of crowns and the advantages and disadvantages of dental crown treatment.

Table of Contents

What is a dental crown and when is it used as a denture?

The dental crown is a type of fixed denture that restores larger parts of a tooth.

A crown is placed on the remaining part of the broken tooth and glued to it.

A tooth crown is used when tooth decay or an accident injury have caused such profound damage to the tooth that a simple tooth filling is no longer a possible treatment. While a filling is anchored in the tooth, a crown replaces larger parts of the tooth. By replicating essential parts of the tooth (e.g. the cusps), the original shape of the tooth is restored and thus enables normal chewing, speaking and an aesthetic appearance.

Find out here how much the cost of a dental crown is and what the health insurance company will cover.

Calculate the price for my crown here

Do you need a dental crown and are not sure whether you can settle the bill? dentolo offers you a suitable mouthguard, which also protects you retrospectively for treatments that have already been advised and which are in progress and you up to 100% of the costs incurred refunded.

Calculate the non-binding contribution for additional dental insurance here

What types of dental crowns exist?

Different types of crowns can be classified according to:

  • the function
  • the size and extent
  • the material used
  • the type of anchorage on the tooth

Depending on the type and size of the tooth defect and also according to your wishes, the appropriate type of crown will be selected. The cost of dental crowns varies accordingly.

Types of crowns: classification according to function

Crowns are used for different purposes. There are replacement crowns, protective crowns and anchoring crowns.

Replacement crowns

They are the classic crowns that are used in the event of a large tooth defect to replace the natural tooth crown.

Protective crowns

Protective crowns are used when the hard and firm enamel has been lost on the tooth and the soft dentine underneath needs to be protected. Tooth enamel can be etched away by acids, e.g. from beverages such as fruit juice, lemonade or fruit, or it is not properly developed (amelogenesis imperfecta).

Anchorage crowns

Anchoring crowns are used to anchor dentures. This can be a bridge in which one tooth is replaced as a whole and the two adjacent teeth are crowned as bridge abutments.

There is also a special type of anchoring crowns that Telescopic crown. They are used to attach a removable prosthesis to remaining teeth.

A telescopic crown is also available under the name of the Double crown known and denotes a two-part crown construction. The inner tooth crown, also called the primary crown, is firmly attached to the ground tooth stump. The secondary crown or outer crown is placed on top of the primary crown and is held in place by frictional resistance. It can always be taken out. The secondary crown is built into the removable denture, which can thus be securely anchored to the remaining teeth.

Types of crowns: Classification according to size and extent

Partial crown

As the name suggests, the partial crown covers only part of the tooth. The use of a partial crown makes sense if the tooth is so damaged by caries that a filling is no longer sufficient, but not so much that a full crown is necessary. For example, the partial crown can only cover the chewing surface. The transition to the inlay is fluid here.

Full crown

In contrast to the partial crown, the entire natural tooth crown is replaced with a full crown. It is like a cap that is placed on the underlying tooth stump. The full crown is designed in such a way that it restores the chewing function and looks as similar as possible to the natural tooth.

Classification according to the material used

Which material is suitable for your crown depends on which tooth is to be replaced, how stable the crown needs to be and what loads it is exposed to, but also on aesthetic aspects. You can decide for yourself which material is used.

Full cast crown

A fully cast crown is mainly used in areas that are not visible (e.g. molars), as this type of tooth crown is made of metal. It is therefore clearly different in color from the natural tooth. Due to its metallic alloy, it is also called a metal crown or, if the metal used contains gold, a gold crown. It is characterized by a particularly long shelf life and break resistance.

Veneer crown

A veneer crown is also made of metal, but is partially or completely covered with a tooth-colored layer. Ceramic is almost always used for this veneering of the crown, but plastic can also be used. However, this is not as durable and discolored quickly.

This type of crown is mostly used in the visible area, i.e. on the incisor or in the front area of ​​the molars.

Full ceramic crown

An all-ceramic crown is also called a mantle crown and, as the name suggests, encloses the tooth in a mantle-shaped manner. This crown is made entirely of ceramic.

Since ceramic is not as break-resistant as metal, these crowns usually have to be made somewhat thicker and therefore more of the tooth must be removed during preparation in order to create enough space for the crown.

Full plastic crowns

As a rule, they are not used as permanent dentures, but are very suitable as long-term temporary restorations. Either prefabricated blanks are used that are adapted or an individual crown is milled.

Classification according to the type of anchoring

Depending on how much the tooth is destroyed, the crown is attached to it differently. A pin may be necessary for severely damaged crowns.

Cemented or glued crowns

Mostly, crowns are attached to the tooth with special "adhesives". Metal crowns or veneer crowns are attached with a special cement, ceramic crowns are firmly glued on with a plastic adhesive.

Pin tooth

A pin tooth, as it is popularly known, is a crown that is anchored in the tooth with the help of a pin. Pins are used when the tooth stump is so destroyed that it no longer offers sufficient support for the crown. Nowadays, pens are mostly made of metal or fiberglass and are attached using plastic. Before a post can be set, the tooth must undergo root canal treatment, which is often necessary anyway for teeth that have been destroyed in this way.

Treatment process for a tooth crown

For the use of a denture in the form of a crown are usually two dates necessary at the dentist. A check-up a few weeks after insertion is recommended.

The first appointment: taking the impression

During the first appointment, if it is a ceramic crown or a veneer crown, the tooth color is determined. The crown is made according to this color. Then first under local anesthesia caused by tooth decay or an accident destroyed part of the tooth removed. After a fill-up has been placed, the tooth stump is prepared for the placement of a tooth crown and a precision impression is taken. After this impression, the crown is finally made in a dental laboratory. The patient wears one for the time until completion temporary crown. It protects the tooth and enables normal biting.

The second appointment: inserting and gluing

During a second appointment, the Dental crown made by the laboratory inserted and firmly glued after a precise passport control. It is particularly important that the crown fits perfectly on the tooth stump so that the gums do not become inflamed. In addition, minor adjustments can be made to the tooth height and shape. A routine check-up usually takes place a few weeks after the crown has been inserted.

What are the advantages, disadvantages and risks of a dental crown?

Advantages of a dental crown

With a crown, teeth that have been badly damaged by caries can in many cases be saved
A crown is used to protect the tooth from renewed caries formation

Disadvantages and risks of a dental crown

The natural tooth substance must be ground. In rare cases, this can lead to damage to the tooth nerve
An inadequate fit can lead to renewed caries formation or inflammation of the tooth nerve
A crown has a limited shelf life. After a few years it has to be replaced and the tooth has to be ground a little more. At some point a crown can no longer be properly attached and the tooth has to be extracted

After the treatment: how to properly care for your crown

Only with exemplary oral hygiene your crown will last long and inflammation will be prevented.

So brush your teeth regularly and use dental floss or interdental brushes for healthy spaces between your teeth. During your care, pay particular attention to the edge of your tooth crown that meets the gums.

Treatment too expensive? No problem with the right supplementary dental insurance

With an additional dental insurance you protect yourself now against high treatment costs and take care of the future. The additional dental insurance dentolo (TEST WINNER 2021, Stiftung Warentest) reimburses you up to 100% of your dental bill - also up to 6 months retrospectively:

  • Up to EUR 1,500 AKUT emergency aid (50% in the first year)
  • Secured retrospectively without waiting (up to 6 months): Even with recommended or ongoing treatments and missing teeth
  • Free choice of dentist

Calculate the non-binding contribution for additional dental insurance here