Do you need dental crowns but are afraid you might experience tooth sensitivity? Or maybe the idea of multiple dental visits seems unfitting?
If so, it's worth exploring alternative options for traditional dental crowns.
In this article, we'll delve into various procedures that can serve as excellent choices that offer similar optimal benefits to dental crowns.
Inlays and Onlays: A Conservative Option
If you're seeking a less invasive alternative to dental crowns that aims to preserve most of your natural tooth structure, inlays and onlays may be the ideal solution. These are suitable when tooth damage is extensive but not severe enough to warrant full dental crowns.
The process of installing inlays and onlays begins by removing the damaged portion of the tooth. Next, your dentist will take an impression of the tooth, which will be sent to a dental lab.
Once the inlays or onlays are fabricated, your dentist will fit them onto your tooth, ensuring they blend seamlessly with your teeth.
Inlays and onlays are typically made from durable materials like porcelain, composite resin, or gold. Composite resin is the most affordable option, while porcelain can mimic the appearance of your teeth but is relatively more expensive. Gold is the priciest and most durable material but is less popular due to its metallic appearance and cost.
With proper oral hygiene, regular dental visits, and avoiding habits that could damage your inlays or onlays, they can last for ten to fifteen years or even longer. A study revealed the mean survival rate of inlays was 90.89%, while for onlays and dental crowns, it was 93.50% and 95.38%, respectively.
If your insurance plan covers inlays or onlays, you can expect to pay around $10 to $100, but without coverage, the cost may range from $650 to $1200.
Nevertheless, you can sign up for a personal membership if you don't have dental insurance to cover the cost of the procedure. At United Dental Care, for example, you can have 25% off on preventive care treatments such as fillings, extractions, and dental crowns, especially on inlays and onlays.
Veneers: Transforming Smiles with Minimal Tooth Alteration
Veneers are a perfect choice if you’re looking for a dental crown alternative that focuses on aesthetics and involves minimal tooth alteration.
They are a popular option for restoring your teeth to their natural look and addressing issues like tooth stains, discoloration, chips, cracks, and size irregularities.
Different types of veneers are available, including porcelain veneers, composite veneers, and zirconia veneers. Porcelain veneers are favored for their ability to resemble natural teeth closely and are particularly effective for addressing tooth discoloration.
On the other hand, composite veneers have an opaque appearance and are slightly less durable than porcelain veneers. Zirconia veneers are used in cases of severe tooth damage and are known for their exceptional durability, although they are also the most expensive among other treatments.
Installing veneers involves removing a thin layer of tooth enamel from the front of your teeth to accommodate the veneers. Your dentist will then bond the veneers securely using a strong dental adhesive and polish them to achieve a natural tooth-like appearance.
The lifespan of veneers can vary from five to thirty years, depending on the materials used and the quality of installation. Maintaining good oral hygiene, avoiding foods and drinks that may damage or stain the veneers, and scheduling regular dental check-ups to maximize longevity is crucial.
It’s crucial to remember, though, that veneers are best for purely cosmetic purposes and used for minor shape corrections, specifically on the front-facing surface of a tooth.
It might be recommended if you have extensive tooth decay, fracture, or any damage that compromises its structural integrity.
Dental Bonding: Repairing and Restoring Teeth
Dental bonding offers a gentler alternative to dental crowns while providing cosmetic and restorative benefits.
This procedure addresses minor teeth issues such as discoloration, chips, cracks, gaps, and size irregularities. Dental bonding commonly utilizes composite resin, a malleable material easily shaped for aesthetic repairs.
The process begins by preparing your teeth and roughening their surface. Next, your dentist will select a resin color that matches your teeth and apply a conditioning liquid to ensure proper adhesion. The resin is then molded and polished to match the shape and color of your teeth.
Dental bonding is an affordable restorative option ranging from $300 to $600. However, it may vary based on your location, the number of teeth involved, and the complexity of the case.
The procedure involves minimal tooth alteration and can be completed in a single dental visit, saving you time compared to dental crown procedures that require multiple visits.
However, it's important to note that dental bonding is less durable than other restorative options and may be prone to staining due to the composite resin's nature.
With proper care and maintenance, however, it can last for three to ten years. While not as long-lasting as dental crowns, dental bonding can reach its maximum lifespan with diligent care.
Additionally, introducing advanced enamel bonding strategies and developing functional monomers were significant innovations for improving dental adhesion.
Dental Implants: A Permanent Tooth Replacement Solution
Dental implants offer a permanent tooth replacement option for a severely damaged tooth necessitating extraction.
Implants consist of two components: the implant, surgically placed into the jawbone beneath the gums, and the abutment, connecting the implant to your chosen prosthesis.
They are known for their durability and ability to fuse with the jawbone, providing results that can last for a lifetime. Implants also have a success rate of above 97%.
They can prevent dental problems like gum disease and bone loss while resembling natural teeth. Consequently, dental implants are a popular choice for replacing extracted teeth, just like other dental crown alternatives.
This procedure is suitable for individuals with one or multiple teeth lost due to decay, injury, or damage that has reached the root canal. Healthy jawbone and gums are necessary prerequisites for dental implant placement.
Dental implants can last for 20 to 30 years or even a lifetime with proper care. Again, practicing good oral hygiene and scheduling regular dental check-ups is essential to address any potential issues.
The cost of dental implants varies depending on the number of implants required and where the procedure is performed. A single dental implant can cost between $1,500 to $3,000, while a full-mouth dental implant procedure can range from $45,000 to $90,000.
Removable Partial Dentures: Restoring Function and Aesthetics
One of the dental issues that dental crowns can’t address is extensive tooth loss. If you have this dental problem, you might want to consider removable partial dentures.
Removable partial dentures are a type of denture used to replace one or more missing teeth. They consist of artificial teeth attached to a gum-colored plastic base and connected by a metal framework. The common materials for this dental device are acrylic resin, plastic, cast metal, porcelain, and polymers.
This restorative option is cheaper than dental crowns or dental implants. It is removable so that you can clean it with ease. On the contrary, its stability may not be as good as other alternative options. It can also look unnatural and can be uncomfortable to wear.
Partial dentures can last for five to 10 years, and to achieve their optimal lifespan, you should do the following:
- Remove and rinse your denture after eating.
- Brush your denture daily with a soft-bristled brush and non-abrasive denture cleaner.
- Soak your denture in water or a denture-cleaning solution overnight.
- Rinse your denture thoroughly before putting it back in your mouth.
This restorative procedure can cost $300 to $5000, depending on the material used and the number of teeth replaced. Consult your dentist for an accurate cost estimate based on your needs.
Find the Best Restorative Dentist in Culver City
While dental crowns are a popular and effective restorative option, exploring alternatives that may better suit your needs is essential.
Like traditional crowns, inlays and onlays, veneers, dental bonding, dental implants, and removable partial dentures offer various benefits.
Remember, maintaining good oral hygiene, scheduling regular dental consultations, and following your dentist's recommendations are crucial for the longevity of any dental restoration.
Visit us at Culver City Dentist United Dental Care, and we’ll walk you through all the alternative options and help you choose the one that fits your specific dental needs.