Do you need a new tooth crown and want an aesthetically high-quality solution? Metals in the mouth are out of the question for you? Then a ceramic crown is probably the denture that works best for you.
What is a ceramic crown?
A crown is a denture that you can get from your dentist if your tooth is too irreparably damaged to be treated with a filling, an inlay, or a partial crown. It is placed on the tooth stump and glued.
We can make crowns of different materials, including metal, plastic, or ceramic. The ceramic crowns can either be an all-ceramic crown made entirely of ceramic, or a veneered crown. This crown comprises a metal framework that is veneered with a layer of ceramic.
What exactly is ceramic?
Ceramic, or porcelain, is a mineral material that is used in many areas. We mainly use silicate ceramics and zirconium oxide in dentistry. Tooth crowns, which should be aesthetic, are made of silicate. It is very reminiscent of the natural tooth but is more fragile. Oxide ceramics are very break-resistant, but not optimal in terms of color and aesthetics. Since this material is extremely popular, it is constantly being further developed and optimized.
What is special about all-ceramic crowns?
All-ceramic crowns are made entirely of ceramic. They are popular with patients because they look much more like natural teeth than crowns made of metal, gold, or plastic. Using various ceramics that can be layered enables an aesthetically very high-quality denture.
By not using metal, they are also suitable for patients who do not want or cannot have metals in their mouths. The material is extremely well-tolerated and does not cause allergies.
All-ceramic crowns are durable. They do not discolor or rub off. This means that the shelf life is extremely high.
For which dentures are all-ceramic crowns suitable?
All-ceramic crowns are ideally suited for the visible area, i.e. for anterior teeth. The crowns do not have to withstand the strongest chewing force and can therefore be made from the aesthetically high-quality silicate ceramic. Patients receive a tooth crown that is not inferior to the natural tooth.
However, a tooth in the posterior area can also be restored with an all-ceramic crown. In this area, it exposes crowns to high-pressure loads. We therefore use the extremely stable zirconium oxide for these tooth crowns. All-ceramic partial crowns are also often used.
Also suitable for bridges?
Bridges, even large ones in the posterior region, can be made of ceramic. The material is very pressure-resistant but more sensitive to bending loads. Therefore, oxide ceramics are primarily used for bridges. Often in the anterior region, a framework is made of oxide that is veneered with silicate.
Overview of advantages and disadvantages
Ceramic crowns are on the rise. More and more crowns are made from the material. But to make an informed decision, you need to know all the advantages and disadvantages.
The advantages of the ceramic crown
- Aesthetics: close to the natural tooth
- Versatile in use
- Very well tolerated
- High durability
The disadvantages of the all-ceramic crown
- Expensive: High material and manufacturing costs
- It removes more tooth substance from the natural tooth because the material must be thicker
- All-ceramic crowns are a private service
Treatment at the dentist
1st step: The treatment and cost plan
If patients need a crown or a partial crown and opt for an all-ceramic crown, they first receive a treatment and cost plan, which they submit to the health insurance company.
Step 2: Prepare the tooth
When treatment starts, the affected tooth is first surveyed, and caries removed. Then the tooth is ground to the exact shape for the new crown.
3rd step: making the crown
The dentist then takes an impression of the tooth or scans it. If your dental crown or partial crown is handcrafted in the laboratory, the dental technician will make a model of the tooth on which he will manufacture your dental crown. When scanning, you get a tooth crown from the milling machine or the 3D printer.
4th step: try-in
When the new crown is ready for your tooth, it will be tried on. If it fits perfectly, it is then firmly glued to the tooth. With a good fit and good oral hygiene, a ceramic crown will last an exceptionally long time, an average of 15 years.
The costs depend on the material used, the workload of the laboratory, and the dental fee. They can be quite different, which is why a price comparison can be worthwhile for you.
What does health insurance company pay?
You must bear most of the costs for an all-ceramic crown yourself. The statutory health insurance only pays the fixed allowance for a metal crown or, in the anterior region, for a partially veneered crown. The fixed allowance is usually €135-175 for molars and €184-238 for front teeth. After deducting the fixed allowance, you must reckon with an additional payment of €500-1000 for an all-ceramic crown.
Tip: If you have a proven, severe metal allergy, you can apply for the cost of a ceramic crown to be covered.
Private health insurances often cover a large part of the cost of all-ceramics, as do dental insurance. The exact subsidy depends on the individual tariff.
The all-ceramic crown is ideal for a beautiful restoration with an artificial crown that is not inferior to your teeth. However, the supply has its price and is not exactly cheap. Consider whether the higher costs are worth it for you.