People prone to developing large cavities are mostly suggested to get dental crowns by dentists as it is a means of dental restoration. A crown typically covers the entire tooth or dental implant to prevent further damage to the tooth structure. It is fitted on the tooth by the help of dental cement. Dental crown materials are of various kinds, and the overall cost of treatment varies with the kind of material used to make the crown. Many people like to get silver or gold crowns, which are quite expensive metals. Some people go for dental crowns simply to improve the aesthetic appeal of their tooth which is not favored by many dentists.
Placing a dental crown requires reduction of tooth to nearly one-third of its normal size so that the crown adheres properly to the tooth structure. This aggressive approach may lead to tooth nerve damage which ultimately destroys the tooth. Opting for an alternative treatment can prevent the occurrence of such a damage and reduce the overall treatment cost significantly.
Dental Crown Alternatives for Tooth Restoration
Metal or mixed-metal crowns have their own set of disadvantages. Mixed-metal crowns tend to generate battery-like effects in the oral cavity when they come in contact with saliva thereby, creating significant voltages in the mouth, which can interfere with regular brainwave patterns. On the other hand, metal crowns erode over time by remaining in contact with acidic saliva, which creates a leak thereby, allowing toxins and plaque to reach below the crown and cause damage.
This problem is solved by using a tooth inlay or onlay as an alternative. It is biocompatible, non-toxic and safe. There is no issue related to leakage of the material as onlays are adhered to the tooth using lasers, and this method is sometimes capable of restoring actual strength of the tooth structure. This method can sometimes prove to be so good that no further treatment is required in the future.
Many people wonder if tooth filling is a suitable alternative to a dental crown? Well, it depends on the extent of tooth damage. If the damage is less, it can prove to be a good option as seen in some cases, where filling works extremely well for the patient. However, when the tooth structure has a large cavity, it might not be possible to replace a crown with a filling. The dentist is the right person to analyze whether a filling will work for a person or not. It must also be remembered that tooth filling is only a temporary replacement of crown, and the need for a dental crown will definitely arise in the future.
The dentist can provide temporary treatment to the tooth so that immediate crown placement can be delayed. This measure can be opted by people with financial constraints, as we know that crown placements can be fairly expensive. Dentists can advice whether temporary restoration will work or not, and if it can, placement of crown can be delayed. However, such patients should follow precautionary measures to avoid further damages.
Alternatives for Cosmetic Purpose
Many people go for dental crown placement for cosmetic purposes. Extreme stains or small abrasions on teeth can significantly hamper the appearance of a person. To solve this problem, many dentists suggest dental crowns. It is better to go for alternative treatments if a person is only interested in improving the visual appeal. Porcelain veneers are made up of special porcelain and are available in the form of thin sheets, which are directly bonded to the tooth to provide toughness and natural color.
Small fractures on tooth surface can be treated with dental bonding rather than going for dental crowns. This treatment is also used to replace old fillings, which have eroded with time. This method can be used only if size of the cavity is small. For larger cavities, dentist usually insist on crown placement so that long-term remedy is provided.
To tackle extreme tooth discoloration, the simplest alternative to dental crown is cosmetic tooth whitening. In this treatment, tooth whitening agents are used to bleach stained teeth to impart natural whiteness. Though this procedure is not a permanent remedy for tooth discoloration, it is simple and inexpensive, which makes it an attractive option.
Dental crowns are rigid metals and do not flex under pressure generated due to biting. Natural teeth have the property of flexing with biting pressure, and this sometimes disturbs the bonding between the crown and tooth. Plaque and toxins find their way through the loose bond and gain access under the tooth, causing decay. This issue is dealt under biomimetic study wherein, researchers have developed crown alternatives that mimic natural tooth flexing property. The procedures used are good for tooth restoration.
The question raised through this article is answered, as we have seen that many alternatives are available for dental crowns. However, it is important to note that none of them are equivalent to crown placement. The cost of dental crown placement may not suit everybody's pockets. These simple treatments will be of great help for people with monetary constraints. It may not completely withdraw the necessity of a dental crown, but can help in postponing the treatment for some time.