What are the disadvantages of dental crowns?


Dental Concepts Blog

What are the disadvantages of dental crowns?

A dental crown is often used in cases where there is significant structural loss, decay or infection, it’s typically used when a filling consistently fails and something with higher coverage is required. What is a crown? Dental crowns include capping the entire visible surface of the tooth from the gum up, some people think of it as a tooth cap. The dental crown procedure is used to protect the natural tooth from further decay, nerve irritation and infection. After root canal treatment a dental crown is usually suggested to avoid the same happening again. There are a few different dental crown types that your dentist may provide or suggest as a good fit for you.

These options may include a:
  1. Gold or metal crown, incredibly durable, but usually only opted for with back teeth where they will be less visible.
  2. Composite crowns, a cost-effective option with a natural aesthetic. They can sometimes be considered or used as temporary crowns.
  3. Porcelain crown, most commonly recommended now.
  4. Porcelain fused to metal crown (PFM crown), all the durability of metal crowns with the aesthetic of a porcelain crown.
  5. E-max crown, a relatively new material composed of ceramic that is lightweight and aesthetically pleasing.

What are some of the disadvantages of having a dental crown, whether it’s a metal crown, a porcelain crown or any other dental crown type?

  1. The cost. Dental crowns are not always the cheapest option. Whilst there are more cost-effective options for crowns such as composite crowns, they can be fairly expensive. The dental crown cost is typically estimated to be between £350 to £900. The dental crown procedure is similar to most of the materials used for your dental crown, but the cost of the actual material is what causes such disparity in cost.
  2. Risk of nerve damage. If a tooth is over-prepared it is possible to cause nerve damage to the internal part of the tooth. In cases where this happens, a root canal may be required to remove the damaged nerve. It’s important that you pick a reputable dentist that will not over-prepare teeth, as this is commonly seen and can cause extensive damage. Most dentists will only want to prepare the tooth by removing as little enamel as possible to preserve the natural tooth.
  3. It may cause abrasion to surround teeth. This is one drawback of having a dental crown because an ill-fitting dental crown may cause abrasion or pressure to the surrounding teeth. In most cases, this can be easily resolved, so if you experience this you will need to let your dentist know.
  4. Repairs. With any work such as veneers, dental crowns or composite bonding repairs may be required. Although dental crown options such as porcelain crowns, metal crowns or a PFM crown are less prone to chipping or breakage, this can happen! If you do notice your crown has chipped or broken away it’s best to contact your dentist as soon as possible, as faulty crowns can lead to infection, sensitivity or even mouth sores if the remaining dental crown is sharp.

Dental crowns are not always the first option, and more conservative treatment such as a filling is often preferred. Unfortunately, where something more protective is needed a filling is unlikely to suffice and a dental crown will be a better option for you. Chat with your dentist about what the best option for you will be to protect your natural teeth as much as possible.

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