Dental Crowns: Your New Crowning Glory?
Move over, hair. Teeth are the hottest fashion statement in town these days. We talk grills and dental crowning and how these could fit into your search for the ideal smile.
Celebrities are known to put their money where their mouth is. This has taken quite a literal turn in recent years, with stars flashing gold-and-diamond encrusted smiles. Think: your grandfather’s gold tooth, but hipper.
Dental grills (or “grillz” if you belong to the hip hop world) have been seen on the likes of Katy Perry and Rihanna. These are essentially decorative teeth covers that are worn over one or more teeth, which makes them removable, like most other fashion accessories.
For a more permanent fix, some grill-wearers have opted to alter their teeth with gold crowns. That’s right, the dental procedure that once sent patients fleeing from the dentist’s room is now attracting a queue of volunteers.
What are crowns?
Dental crowns are permanent fixtures that cover the entire tooth. It continues to be a necessary procedure for many but has also evolved to become a cosmetic option in some people’s search for the ideal smile.
How are crowns made?
The process of crowning involves three basic steps:
- The tooth is shaped and an impression is taken
- The crown is made based on the impression
- The crown is fitted onto the tooth
Sounds simple enough, right? Yet before technology swooped in to save the day, crowning used to involve multiple dentist trips and a one-week waiting time for the crown to be fabricated. These days, if your dentist is like i.Dental and has the right technology, crowns can be completed within three hours in a single visit.
What is this sorcery?
Technology, my friend, not sorcery. CAD/CAM (or computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) machines take digital scans of your teeth — quicker, more accurate and definitely more comfortable (no moulds in the mouth, thank goodness).
To illustrate, at i.Dental, they’ve invested in a Planmeca CAD/CAM and Milling machine. It scans the contours of your teeth and gingival structures, producing an accurate digital orthodontic scan, which is then used to design and mill the crown, which is done on the spot and in a matter of minutes.
Of course, you also get to choose the type of material that your dental crowns are made of.
- Metal crowns are probably the longest lasting in terms of wear down. They rarely chip or break but the main drawback is the metallic colour (unless that’s the look you’re you’re going for).
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be colour-matched to your teeth so they look more natural. The underlying metal offers strength, which adds to the longevity of your crown and makes it a good choice for both front and back teeth.
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the most natural colour match of all your options. They may also be more suitable if you have metal allergies.
Are dental crowns a need or want for you? The best way to find out is to get an expert opinion — and you don’t even need to make a trip down to the dentist! i.Dental has a free online smile assessment service where you can send in snaps of your teeth for their dentists to examine. Try it now!