Some people are overconfident of their teeth's capacity to withstand abuse, until the enamel chips or breaks. You have probably seen people tear beer caps off bottles with their teeth, and concluded that trying the feat on your own would not hurt. Now, you have a broken tooth, and you are kicking yourself for giving in to your buddies' egging. The damage has been done though, and you will have to pay for restorations, if you want to face your friends with dignity again. Fortunately, dental crowns will give you a free pass towards a better smile. Hopefully, it will not take too long to find an available provider of emergency dental care in Burke, VA!
You could be confusing dental crowns with dental fillings. Both have essentially the same purpose of restoring decayed or broken tooth, but dental fillings are often applied, and hardened on the spot. Dental crowns are prepped first by a ceramist, before they are fitted onto your teeth during your next dental visit. Dental crowns cover the entire top surface of the tooth, while fillings replace the lost enamel, by filling in the gaping hole left by chipping or tooth decay. This is the reason why some fillings look odd and irregular upon closer inspection, and crowns are barely noticeable.
Dental crowns need plenty of room so they can firmly bond with the enamel. This means that your dentist has to shave a chunk off your broken tooth to make room for the crown. Fillings, on the other hand, only replace the area that was lost due to damage or decay, so there is no need to shave much enamel for an amalgam or porcelain filling. Dental crowns have a huge advantage over fillings in terms of durability; they can last for up to fifteen years if you maintain proper oral hygiene. Fillings could fall off after four years, especially if your lifestyle puts the treated tooth under a lot of strain. Some people do not even notice that they have swallowed a filling, until the tooth pain begins.
Both treatments use the same types of materials. Hands down, porcelain crowns are the most popular, since they neatly blend in with the natural color of the teeth. Porcelain is harder than tooth enamel, though, and a porcelain crown could erode the opposing tooth to a nub if you have a nasty habit of grinding your teeth. Gold crowns are malleable, so they exert less pressure on the enamel, but their unsightly color discourages many people from getting them. Porcelain crowns are often used for front teeth because of their aesthetic qualities, and gold crowns are placed on back teeth because they are less prone to chipping, and they will withstand all the chewing.
Porcelain-metal hybrid crowns are also used to optimize the benefit of both materials, but the opaque white shield that covers the metal substructure will look odd upon closer inspection. Natural teeth are translucent, and it would look strange if one tooth sticks out like a sore thumb. You could always remedy the difference with dental veneers. If the damage to your teeth could not be fixed with fillings, then dental crowns will be necessary in replacing the broken tooth you have.