If you have cracked or damaged teeth then a porcelain crown might be the right restoration, rather than a veneer. Often a porcelain crown is a better choice for cosmetic improvement due to its superior strength.
A crown is a restoration that covers or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won’t solve the problem.
If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn’t get worse. Crowns are also used as an improvement over a large filling when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining to help attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth.
Porcelain crowns are often the “ultimate” cosmetic restoration. They provide a genuine vitality and translucency not found in other crowns. The unsightly “blue line” that is often seen with crowns is avoided.
Lava crowns are a new type of porcelain crown with a zirconium coping. These offer superior strength over most other porcelain crowns; without sacrificing the aesthetic quality.
How is a crown (bridge) placed?
To prepare a tooth for a porcelain crown, it’s precisely reshaped. An impression of your teeth and gums is made and sent to the lab for crown fabrication. Meanwhile, a temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. During your next visit, we remove the temporary crown and cement the permanent crown(s) onto your tooth.
Will it look natural?
Yes. Our main goal is to create porcelain crowns that look like natural teeth. To achieve a certain look, a number of factors are considered: the color, bite, shape and length of your natural teeth. Any one of these factors alone can affect your appearance.
If you have a certain cosmetic look in mind for your crown(s), discuss it with Dr. Goldy during your initial visit. When the procedure is complete, your teeth will not only be stronger, but also more attractive. Dr. Goldy will not permanently cement your crown(s) until both patient and doctor are happy with the aesthetics, comfort, contour and fit.
Why porcelain crowns and not veneers?
Porcelain crowns require more tooth structure removal, so they cover more of the tooth than veneers. Crowns are customarily indicated for teeth that have sustained significant loss of structure, or to replace missing teeth (bridge). Crowns and bridges may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants. Also, crowns are better for patients with a history of grinding their teeth, for teeth with large or numerous existing fillings, and in many cases where patients desire longer teeth.
How long do porcelain crowns last?
Crowns should last approximately 10 to 15 years. However, with good oral hygiene and supervision most porcelain crowns will last much longer. Some damaging habits like grinding your teeth, chewing ice or fingernail biting may cause this period of time to decrease significantly.
How should I take care of my porcelain crowns?
To prevent damaging or fracturing the crowns, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. You also want to avoid teeth grinding. If teeth grinding is an issue, Dr. Goldy will recommend a night guard. Essential to the overall maintenance of porcelain crowns and veneers is daily brushing and flossing, along with frequent cleaning and check up visits (at least twice per year). Plaque in the area of a crown can cause dental decay and gum disease.
Original source: Library of the Academy of General Dentistry