If you’re self-conscious about cracked, broken, decayed, or worn teeth, we can bring back your healthy, natural-looking smile with dental crowns, also called caps. A crown can return structure, strength, and function to a tooth with extensive decay or damage. Designed to fit snugly and function as a healthy tooth, a crown will protect your tooth from further damage and preserve the jaw’s correct natural alignment.
We use precious metal, porcelain pressed (or fused) to metal, or all-ceramic crowns. To maintain a fully white smile, we recommend all-ceramic crowns. Our precise color-matching system allows us to find the right shade to blend with your natural tooth color. Porcelain fused to metal crowns are also extremely durable and long lasting, and these benefits make them popular with dentists as well as patients.
Typically, we can design, fit, and place your crowns in just a couple of appointments. Once a crown is placed, you can care for it as you do your natural teeth. Conscientious brushing twice a day and daily flossing will protect the base of your crown from bacterial growth. Be sure to see us at least two times each year for professional cleanings and a preventive exam, too.
It is important to understand the purpose and function for dental crowns before selecting the materials from which they will be made. Most dentists will make the appropriate recommendation to their patient based on their individual need, the kind of demands the crowns will have placed upon them, the amount of space available, and the amount of durability that is needed. While there are three common materials employed in the manufacture of crowns, or “caps” as they are frequently called, the most frequently seen are the porcelain material crowns. There are two standard varieties: the pure porcelain or ceramic crowns, and the porcelain fused to metal crowns. Of the two, the porcelain fused to metal are currently the most durable due to the strength of the inner metal core – which can be a precious metal such as gold or a dental safe amalgam metal . They are also a realistic and aesthetic choice as they are crafted from materials that will easily match the color of the natural teeth of the patient.
The key to successful application of any kind of crown is the preparation of the tooth to which the crown will be attached. This is where difficulty can arise with the porcelain on metal crowns as they require a significant amount of space around the tooth to apply them securely. Dentists tend to preserve as much of a natural tooth as possible, which presents a challenge to this type of application. A second concern where the porcelain to metal crowns are concerned is the gradual appearance of the underlying metal within the inner core of the crown as the gums of the patient recede with age. Most dentists have crowns crafted with all-porcelain “collars” which hide the metal during the recession of the gum. The all porcelain crowns are actually ceramic materials, most often zirconia and aluminous materials. While they are easier to fit, because they do no have the inner metallic core, they are not nearly as durable as the porcelain on metal crowns. Additionally, many patients want the ceramic crowns because of their more realistic in appearance, which is the result of light transferring naturally through the substance in the same way it does on natural teeth. Crowns that are applied for purely aesthetic purposes are usually the all porcelain variety, wherever such an application is possible.
In order to have crowns applied a patient must make two separate visits to their dentist. The first will be to prepare the teeth that will receive crowns and to apply a temporary crown on each tooth. The second visit is to have the permanent crowns applied with a dental cement or adhesive, and when the patient will test the new crowns for comfort and aesthetic appeal. People with partial dentures may also need crowns applied to the teeth that will be used to secure their partial dentures. Though many cosmetic dentists prefer their patients to investigate implants rather than dentures or “partials” because the implants deliver a strong and more natural bite and make crowns unnecessary elsewhere in the mouth.