A crown is a type of dental prosthesis designed to protect and stabilize a severely damaged and unstable tooth. The use of a crown is preferred when the defect cannot be treated with a plastic or ceramic filling.
If one seeks a durable and biocompatible material with high aesthetic appeal, opting for a ceramic crown is advisable.
When is a Ceramic Crown advisable?
The ceramic crown serves the purpose of replacing a damaged natural tooth crown and providing greater stability to the tooth. Additionally, ceramic crowns can be affixed to ceramic implants, serving as the visible aesthetic component in such cases.
Crown on the natural tooth
On ceramic implants, as an alternative to a dental bridge
- After tooth extraction
- For non-existent teeth (particularly common in the lateral incisor in the upper jaw)
- After a dental injury leading to tooth loss
Advantages of a Ceramic Crown
- Excellent biological compatibility of ceramic crowns
- Gums tend to adhere well to ceramic, reducing the occurrence of troublesome gum pockets
- Especially important in the front or canine area, ceramic provides a naturally appealing appearance for the dental crown
- Ceramic crowns are durable and stable, but proper fabrication is crucial to avoid tensions and microcracks
- Ceramic crowns help protect the natural tooth from extremes of heat and cold. Ceramic poorly conducts such temperatures, preserving the dental nerve, acting as an insulator
- Minimal accumulation of bacterial biofilms, resulting in fewer gum inflammations compared to metal crowns
Disadvantages of a Ceramic Crown
- Ceramic crowns are more expensive than metal crowns, with the exception of gold crowns, which now have a higher price than ceramic ones
- The natural tooth crown must be ground down by at least 1 to 1.5 mm in all areas, making the crown advisable only for severely damaged teeth
- Grinding down natural teeth can, in rare cases, lead to irreversible trauma, causing the tooth to die
Dr. Tobias Steinherr M. Sc.
A ceramic crown should be optimal in terms of aesthetics and function. If you have any questions, we are happy to advise you.
Steps for Ceramic Crown Treatment
Determining the correct tooth color to ensure that the eventual ceramic crown blends seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. This step is often performed by the dental technician.
Grinding down the natural tooth crown. The removed tooth structure will be later replaced by ceramic.
Impression (Molding) for the Dental Technician
Manufacturing the Ceramic Crown
The dental technician manufactures the ceramic crown. Using a precise milling machine, the crown is ground from a ceramic blank and then fired in a furnace to achieve the necessary hardness and aesthetics. Subsequently, the crown is further refined until the ideal characteristics are achieved. The involvement of an experienced dental technician is crucial for ensuring excellent quality during the manufacturing process.
Placement of the Ceramic Crown (usually in a second session)
The completed ceramic crown is cemented onto the ground-down tooth by the dentist. When choosing the cement, biocompatibility and durability should be carefully considered. The crown replaces the ground-down, missing layer of the tooth, restoring the tooth to its correct anatomical form.
Removal of Cement Excess and Crown Inspection
Thorough removal of excess cement is essential. During the inspection, any interfering contact points are checked and adjusted. The goal is to ensure that the patient’s teeth come into contact harmoniously on both sides simultaneously.
Frequently asked Questions about Ceramic Crown
Ceramic crowns can build up and stabilize a broken tooth very well. If you are not sure and have any questions, we will be happy to help you.
If a natural, living tooth is given a ceramic crown, a local anesthetic is usually necessary. No anesthesia is required for a crown for a ceramic implant.
You can eat normally with a ceramic crown. After the crown has been cemented, care should be taken for about 24 hours not to put too much strain on the area. This is recommended because the cement needs this time to reach its full final hardness.
The durability of crowns on your own (natural) teeth is limited by the adhesion between the crown and the tooth. After some time, acid-forming oral bacteria, which are also responsible for tooth decay, can dissolve this ceramic-to-tooth bond and cause a hole or gap. The crown should then be replaced at the latest. Consequently, depending on the bacterial flora in the oral cavity, the durability can vary between 5 and 50 years. We therefore recommend building up the oral flora.
The durability of crowns on ceramic implants is different from that on teeth.
Cementation creates a highly stable ceramic-to-ceramic bond that is less susceptible to pathogenic bacteria. The ceramic cannot be destroyed by acid, which means that no gap or hole can form. As a result, ceramic crowns on ceramic implants can last a lifetime.
Aesthetics vary greatly and depend on the artistic skills of the dental technician. Our aim is always to achieve perfect esthetics and natural, beautiful teeth. Outsiders should not be able to recognize any difference to natural teeth. Our in-house dental laboratory enables us to meet our standards.
Natural teeth can occasionally die if tooth structure is removed.
Therefore, crowns should only be chosen when fillings and inlays are no longer an option.
Ceramic crowns are cemented with cements or thin-flowing plastics. When selecting the materials, it is important that the following properties are guaranteed:
- Durability and longevity
It is essential that excess cement residue is removed completely.
Magnifying glasses and LED headlights can be used to ensure the best possible removal.
In general, any tooth can be fitted with a ceramic crown. However, the decision should be made rather strictly so as not to grind down the tooth unnecessarily. Wisdom teeth in need of treatment are very rarely fitted with ceramic crowns, but are usually removed from the oral cavity.
Ceramic crowns can break, depending on the type of ceramic and the amount of force applied. The correct procedure during production is crucial here. An experienced dental technician knows exactly how to prevent micro-cracks and micro-fissures in the material during production. This is because these can lead to premature breakage after insertion.
A ceramic crown can detach from the tooth if the cement bond breaks. This can happen if the tooth stump has been ground too short and too conical. Premature detachment is more likely due to the lack of retention and bonding surface.
A detached crown can be cleaned and re-cemented by the dentist.