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5 Best Alternatives to Dental Crowns in 2024

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Are you looking for the best dental crown alternatives? In most cases, when patients hear their dentists recommending dental crowns, they often think that they don’t have a choice. Some even start getting a little panicked. This is mainly because the procedures involved are quite invasive, not to mention the high costs.

But what can you get if you do not wish to proceed with the dental crown treatment?

This article seeks to provide answers to that and other questions by extensively looking at:

  • Why you may need dental crowns in the first place;
  • Why dental crowns may not work for you;
  • Five best dental crown alternatives to consider.

Why Would You Need Dental Crowns?

To understand the best dental crown alternatives, it is important first to know why you would need them in the first place.

So, what exactly are dental crowns, and why do you need them?

Dental crowns are versatile, custom-made dental restorations that encase a damaged or weakened tooth. They work by providing additional strength and protection while improving one’s aesthetics.

Dental crowns may be necessary for situations such as:

Tooth decay and damage

Teeth affected by severe decay can be enhanced using dental crowns. When the decay extends beyond what can be repaired using dental fillings, dentists often recommend dental crowns to restore the tooth’s structure and function.

Moreover, teeth that have undergone root canal therapy can be protected using dental crowns. This is because, in that situation, the teeth are brittle and prone to fracture.

Cracked or fractured teeth

Teeth with cracks or fractures risk further damage and often cause more sensitivity and pain. Crowns can be used to provide reinforcement and stability to these compromised teeth.

Cosmetic enhancements

Just like porcelain veneers, dental crowns can also be used as cosmetic enhancements. This is because they can conceal dental imperfections, such as tooth misalignment and discoloration.

Crowns can be shaped into a desired shape and color, getting you a reprieve for your oral cosmetic needs.

When Dental Crowns May Not Be Suitable

While dental crowns are known to be an effective dental restoration solution, they may not always be the ideal option in all situations. There are certain factors that may influence the suitability of dental crowns for an individual’s needs.

So, what are some of the factors that may necessitate one to look for dental crown alternatives?

  • Insufficient tooth structure: Sufficient healthy tooth structure is required to successfully place a dental crown. However, in cases where the tooth is severely decayed or compromised, and there isn’t enough support for the crown, alternative treatments like dental implants may be recommended.
  • Extensive tooth decay: In cases of extensive tooth decay, a dental crown may not be the best solution. Other dental crown alternatives, like root canal treatment, may be done, followed by a dental filling to preserve the remaining healthy tooth structures.
  • Advanced gum disease: Someone with periodontal disease may not find dental crowns useful. This is because the condition causes significant damage to the supporting structures around the tooth. It is advisable first to address the underlying concerns before considering restorative treatment.
  • Financial considerations: Dental crowns can be a significant investment which some individuals may face financial limitations with. In such cases, exploring alternative restorative treatments, such as cheap veneer options, may be more feasible.

5 Best Dental Crowns Alternatives

Although dental crowns have been a popular choice for restoring damaged or decayed teeth, there are other alternative treatments that you may consider.

Depending on your unique case and condition, you may consider these other alternatives, which can provide you equally good results, if not better, based on your needs.

Here are the five top alternatives for dental crowns:

Dental veneers
Dental veneers

Dental veneers are thin porcelain shells that are custom-made to cover the front surface of teeth. They mask or conceal imperfections, such as chips, cracks, discoloration, or gaps.

Dental veneers may be an ideal consideration for people seeking a quick smile makeover without the need for extensive tooth reshaping.

Here’s our crowns vs veneers comparison for further insights.

Inlays and Onlays
Inlays and Onlays

Also known as indirect fillings, inlays and onlays are ideal alternatives when crowns are deemed unnecessary. Instead of having a cap covering the entire tooth, a partial crown can be used to cover part of it.

These products are often made of composite resin, porcelain, or gold and can be used to repair moderate tooth decay or damage. Inlays are placed within the tooth structure, while onlays extend to cover the cusps.

This alternative mode of treatment preserves the healthy tooth structure and provides a long-lasting, aesthetically pleasing solution.

Dental implants
Dental implants

Dental implants offer an exceptional alternative to dental crowns, especially where a tooth is completely lost or extraction is necessary.

Getting implants involves a surgical procedure where titanium posts are placed into the jawbone to act as an artificial tooth root. Once integrated, a crown is securely attached to the implant to provide a more permanent and functional replacement for missing natural teeth.

Composite bonding
Composite bonding

Getting composite or dental bonding can be a good idea if you are looking for a minimally invasive alternative to dental crowns. Composite bonding is a cosmetic solution that uses composite materials to cover up imperfections on teeth, including chips, cracks, and gaps.

Dental bridges
Dental bridges

Dental bridges are an excellent dental crown alternative when replacing one or more missing natural teeth. A bridge has an artificial tooth held in place by crowns on adjacent healthy teeth.

This treatment fills the gap left by a missing tooth and restores the tooth’s functionality, such as proper chewing.

What’s more, dental bridges are long-lasting, reliable, and look just like your natural teeth.

Which Dental Restoration Is Right For You?

Dental crowns are an ideal dental restoration treatment. However, by looking at the other alternative treatments, they are equally good and can provide you with the desired results. So, which dental restoration is actually right for you?

There isn’t a standard formula you can use to determine the right treatment. However, here are three crucial considerations to make before settling on any solution:

  • Your dental condition and needs;
  • Your budget;
  • What your dentist recommends.

FAQ

Is there anything cheaper than a crown?

Yes, there are alternative dental treatments that can be more cost-effective than dental crowns. For minor tooth damage or cosmetic improvements, options such as dental bonding, composite resin fillings, or dental veneers may be more affordable dental crown alternatives.

What can be used instead of a dental crown?

Some alternatives for dental crowns include dental veneers for cosmetic enhancements, inlays or onlays for moderate tooth decay, dental implants for tooth replacement, and dental bonding or composite resin fillings for minor tooth damage.

How can I protect my teeth without a crown?

To protect your teeth without a crown, proper oral hygiene practices are essential. It is important to regularly brush and floss your teeth as you avoid habits that can damage your teeth, such as chewing on hard objects.

Can dental implants be considered as an alternative to dental crowns?

Yes, dental implants can be considered as an alternative to dental crowns, especially when a tooth is missing or needs to be extracted.

Do veneers look better than crowns?

Both veneers and crowns can provide aesthetically pleasing results, but the best option will depend on the individual case.

Sources

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