Many people grind their teeth during the day or while they sleep, and the immense pressure and stress created by teeth grinding can cause severe damage. Over time, teeth grinding (more properly known as bruxism) can cause tooth enamel to become cracked, chipped and worn, leaving you vulnerable to toothaches, dental sensitivity, and bacterial infections.
If one or more of your teeth have been badly damaged by bruxism, dentists can repair the damaged tooth or teeth in a number of ways. Ceramic crowns are one of the most widely-used options for repairing teeth that have been damaged by grinding.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are designed to protect damaged teeth from further damage and infection risk. These protective caps are individually crafted by dental technicians and are designed to closely resemble the look and feel of healthy, natural teeth.
When a dental crown is fitted, your dentist will first remove some of the enamel from the damaged tooth, until it resembles a small 'peg'. The crown is then slotted over the reshaped tooth, and fixed in place using powerful, long-lasting dental adhesives.
Once fitted, a dental crown provides the damaged tooth with added strength and stability, and presents a physical barrier that prevents dangerous bacteria from reaching the damaged tooth underneath. Because the original tooth remains in place, you will not suffer from any gum recession or loss of jawbone tissue, which commonly occurs in people who have damaged teeth extracted.
Why Are Crowns Suitable For Repairing Bruxism Damage?
If your teeth grinding is severe enough to badly damage your teeth, your dentist will provide treatments to alleviate your bruxism, such as night guards. However, the repair methods used to fix your damaged tooth or teeth must be durable enough to withstand future grinding episodes, especially if your tooth grinding is triggered by chronic conditions (such as anxiety disorders).
Dental bonding and veneers are inexpensive tooth repair methods, but they fall short in terms of durability. The resins used to bond teeth are vulnerable to wear caused by bruxism, and the thin materials used to create veneers can be cracked and chipped by the pressure of clenched or grinding teeth. Crowns, particularly ceramic crowns, are far more durable than either of these repair methods.
Why Choose Ceramic Crowns?
Dental crowns can be made from a number of different materials. Composite crowns are made from similar plastic resins to those used to create tooth bonding and tooth-colored fillings. They are cheaper than ceramic crowns, but also less durable, especially when exposed to grinding stresses. They are also less visually convincing than ceramic crowns and may stand out if used to repair front teeth.
Ceramic crowns are practically indistinguishable from natural teeth because the porcelain ceramics they are made from are structurally very similar to tooth enamel. They can be tinted to exactly match the color of your natural teeth, and reflect light in the same way as tooth enamel. While composite crowns can stand out under harsh lighting, ceramic crowns will blend in seamlessly.
Ceramic crowns are also far more durable than composite crowns and can last for well over a decade with proper care and attention. They are ideal for people who continue to suffer from bruxism after the crown is fitted, giving the damaged tooth the best possible protection against further damage.