What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are fitted over the front of a tooth or teeth. They can be used to change the appearance of teeth or to strengthen a tooth that has been weakened or damaged. Because caps used to be quite expensive to have done locally some patients investigate the cost of crowns in Thailand in the belief that they may be able to have a cheaper procedure abroad.
Types of Dental Crowns:
- Metal Crowns: Strong and durable, these are often used for molars and other teeth bearing heavy chewing forces. However, their metallic appearance can be undesirable for front teeth.
- Porcelain Crowns: These natural-looking crowns mimic the color and translucence of real teeth, making them ideal for front teeth or cosmetic dentistry.
- Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns: Combining the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain, these crowns offer a good balance of both advantages.
- Zirconia Crowns: Made from a high-tech ceramic material, these crowns are strong, biocompatible, and offer a very natural look.
Reasons for Getting a Crown:
- Repairing a damaged tooth: Crowns can cover up cracks, chips, or fractures, preventing further damage and restoring the tooth’s function.
- Strengthening a weak tooth: A crown can reinforce a tooth weakened by decay, fillings, or root canal treatment.
- Improving tooth appearance: Crowns can mask discoloration, misalignment, or gaps between teeth, enhancing your smile.
- Supporting dental bridges or implants: Crowns can serve as anchors for dental bridges or cover dental implants for a natural look.
By today’s standards, however, this is not necessary and may result in complications that can actually make your procedure even more expensive.
What Is A Dental Cap Or Crown Used For?
Your dentist may recommend a cap or crown in order to
- Strengthen a weak tooth
- Restore a damaged or fractured tooth
- Complete a dental implant procedure
- Restore a tooth that is too damaged for a filling
- Improve the appearance of a tooth that is discoloured and/or unresponsive to teeth whitening.
A dental cap, also known as a crown, serves two main purposes:
1. Protecting and Strengthening Weak or Damaged Teeth:
- Repairs cracked, chipped, or broken teeth: Crowns act like a protective shield, preventing further damage and preserving the remaining tooth structure.
- Reinforces teeth weakened by decay or fillings: A crown provides additional support for a tooth that has lost its natural strength due to cavities or extensive dental work.
- Covers teeth after root canal treatment: Following a root canal, a crown protects the weakened tooth and restores its functionality.
2. Enhancing the Appearance of Teeth:
- Improves discolored or stained teeth: Crowns can mask unsightly discoloration or stains that traditional whitening methods cannot address.
- Corrects misaligned or misshapen teeth: Crowns can reshape teeth that are uneven, chipped, or have undesirable gaps, creating a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
- Closes gaps between teeth: Crowns can effectively bridge gaps between teeth, resulting in a fuller and more confident smile.
Additionally, crowns can serve as anchors for:
- Dental bridges: When a missing tooth needs replacing, crowns can be placed on adjacent teeth to support a bridge holding the replacement tooth.
- Dental implants: In cases of severe tooth loss, crowns can be placed on dental implants to restore both functionality and aesthetics.
Choosing the Right Cap or Crown:
The material of your crown will depend on its primary purpose and your budget. Here are some popular options:
- Metal crowns: Durable and affordable, often used for molars and other teeth bearing heavy chewing forces.
- Porcelain crowns: Offer a natural appearance and are ideal for front teeth or cosmetic dentistry.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns: Combine the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain, a good balance for both considerations.
- Zirconia crowns: Strong, biocompatible, and offer a very natural look, but may be more expensive.
Remember, dental crowns are a long-lasting investment in your oral health and smile. Consult your dentist to discuss your specific needs and determine the best type of crown for you.
Using A Dental Crown For A Damaged Tooth
If you have broken, chipped or fractured a tooth, it may be possible to restore it with a dental crown.
Not only will a cap restore your tooth to its former function, it can also protect it from further damage.
Because of the variety of functions of them, and the complexity that goes into constructing the perfect crown to complement your smile it isn’t advisable to travel to locations like Thailand for your procedure.
Reasons Why You Don’t Need to Get Your Dental Crowns in Thailand
The procedure requires a close working relationship with your dental practitioner.
Crafting a cap requires you to have a close and intimate working relationship with your dentist. You need to be able to discuss in detail exactly what you want and your dentist, in turn needs to be able to understand your needs to minimise chances of miscommunication and misunderstanding.
Your dental crown will take some time to be manufactured
Crowns are generally not completed in just one visit to your dental practitioner. You can expect an extended engagement that will probably take at least two visits to your dental practitioner. Furthermore, it could take two to three weeks for your crown to be created after your first consultation and impression-taking. This can make it difficult to plan in terms of booking flights and accommodation.
You need to be close to your dental practitioner for follow up consultations
Although complications and side effects are rare, in the event that something does go wrong it really helps if you are in close proximity to your dentist. It also helps if your dentist speaks your language so that you can discuss your options and resolve any issues that might arise.
Your concept of aesthetics might not be the same
It might happen that Australian patients and Thai dentists do not have the same aesthetic appreciation, and you might not be satisfied with the size, shape or colour of your dental crowns at the end of the procedure. If the crowns are in the font of your mouth or in a prominent position, you run the risk of being unsatisfied with the work, and under time pressure to resolve it quickly if you have booked return flights already.
It’s not always wise to shop on cost alone
While it might seem as though a dental crown in Thailand will incur a lower capital outlay initially, once you factor in the cost of correcting any issues, you could end up paying significantly more. Also remember that when you are in Australia, your rights as a patient are protected by a regulatory framework and you do have recourse to follow.
When you are in Thailand and anywhere abroad, if something does go wrong, you will need to sort it out on your own and probably pay out-of-pocket.
You also want to avoid unnecessary problems with a dental crown, because your dental practitioner needs to remove some of your dental enamel every time, which weakens your natural tooth. Ideally you want a natural-looking, functional crown that lasts for a sling as possible.