Damaged or broken tooth? Dental crowns come to the rescue! In the US alone, 15 million people have bridge or crown restorations. But with dental crowns gaining higher and wider popularity, do people actually know all about them?
In the period Feb 6 – March 17, 2020, we explored the awareness of famous notions on the topic “Dental Crowns” among 329 respondents with varied demographics. Find out people’s opinions and experts’ advice on 10 popular myths and facts such as:
- Do dental crowns always look unnatural?
- Is it certain that a gray line will appear around old crowns?
- Are porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns the most durable?
#1: Dental crowns are suitable for damaged or broken teeth: FACT
It seems like the main purpose of dental crowns – to replace a damaged tooth – is clear to 88% of respondents.
A dental crown, also called a dental cap, is a type of dental restoration which completely caps a tooth that is cracked, broken, or severely decayed. It could be directly cemented onto the prepared tooth (with or without the help of a pin, depending on the size of the damaged tooth surface, Ed.) or it could be fixed on an implant.
#2: Getting a dental crown protects from cavities: MYTH
Who wouldn’t enjoy applying some eternal cavity-protection on their teeth? Well, crowns cannot serve as such (yet), although 11% of the survey participants think so.
In fact, if your dental crown is not implant-supported, you can easily develop a cavity underneath it. That is why it is utterly important to continue taking the time to properly clean even those teeth that have a dental crown.
#3: A dental crown always looks unnatural: MYTH
Although the majority of respondents (43%) believe this is not always true, there are still 25% who think dental crowns look unnatural.
The truth is: It depends on the crown. Porcelain and zirconia crowns, for example, can indeed go unnoticed when properly fabricated and placed. Thanks to the inherent translucency of those materials and the precise impression used to make the crown match the natural tooth and bite, dental crowns cannot only look but also feel like natural teeth.
#4: Dental crowns cannot be whitened: FACT
The largest part of respondents (44%) are undecided on this matter and the rest of the answers are dispersed which implies a lack of awareness.
Dental crowns and all other restorations are made of inorganic material that doesn’t respond to whitening the way real teeth do. “Therefore, if you plan on having any restoration work done, it’s better to first whiten your teeth and then adjust their shades to the new color of your teeth”, we advised in a previous article on the topic.
#5: Dental crowns could change their color with time: FACT
More than half of respondents claim dental crowns can change their color with time. And they are not far away from the facts. But:
- It depends on the type of crown. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, for example, are more likely to become grayish due to the metal. Porcelain and zirconia crowns, on the other hand, are highly stain-resistant, but excessive smoking or coffee drinking could stain their surface. Those spots, however, can be easily removed with professional teeth cleaning.
- It depends on the food & care. Highly acidic foods and drinks can wear down the anti-staining resin. Brushing too hard or using an abrasive toothpaste can also harm the outer glaze.
- It depends on the quality. Old crowns may not have been made out of the same high-quality materials that are in use today, so they can begin to look dull with age. Moreover, crowns with cracks may stain easier.
Choose the right crown type wisely!
#6: A gray line always appears around old crowns: MYTH
Years ago, that was a very common scenario, right? You see someone with a gray line around the gum line and you know for sure this person has either a crown or a bridge. This could probably explain why one-fourth of survey respondents believe that’s still the usual case.
However, the gray line around old crowns is most probably caused by the metal edge of the crown showing through the gum. Thus, this is only typical for crowns with a metal core. That’s one of the proofs that porcelain and zirconia crowns provide better aesthetics in the long run.
#7: All-ceramic (porcelain) crowns are the best: SO-SO
According to 57% of respondents, all-ceramic crowns seem to hold a competitive advantage compared to other types.
Porcelain crowns indeed have the greatest aesthetics and can mimic the natural teeth in the best possible way. However, their resistance is lower than that of all-metal, PFM, and zirconia crowns. So all-ceramic crowns might not be the best choice in the following cases: for people who grind their teeth or generate heavy chewing forces, for teeth that have obvious fracture lines in them, or cases where crown failure might compromise other completed work (e.g. root canal treatment).
#8: Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns are the most durable: MYTH
Nearly half of the survey participants claim that PFM crowns have the best durability and just 3% are of the opposite opinion.
The truth: All-metal crowns are stronger than PFM crowns. Zirconia crowns, though, are even stronger than all-metal crowns and on top have a better appearance.
#9: Dental crowns are resistant to any damage: MYTH
Regardless of how strong the crown material is, it doesn’t make it impenetrable. Although one-fifth of the survey participants claim crowns’ resistance to any damage, 45% of respondents still define this statement as false.
How can a crown be damaged? See below the most common cases:
#10: A dental crown will never feel like a real tooth: MYTH
There is no clear trend in the opinions of people on this matter. In fact, if properly fabricated and placed, a dental crown should feel just like your natural, healthy tooth.
Which of those myths and facts were you aware of?
Share in the comments below!
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Stats source: DentaVox, 20 Questions: Dental Crowns
Base: 329 respondents (global sample)