Porcelain crowns are often used to restore aesthetics and function to a missing or damaged tooth. Advancing dental technology has given life to new materials that offer improved durability with a beautifully natural appearance.
Do I need a crown?
Some of the most common reasons Dr. Stillman will recommend a dental crown include:
- A broken or cracked tooth – to protect the remaining structure and restore function.
- Severely decayed teeth – for additional support surrounding large fillings.
- Following a root canal – to cap a tooth weakened by extensive removal of diseased tissue.
- After an implant is placed – to restore the visible portion of a missing tooth.
- A dental bridge – to connect a series of replacement teeth.
Porcelain is a ceramic that can be expertly crafted by cosmetic dentists to perfectly mimic the color and translucency of a natural tooth. Despite its optimal aesthetic qualities, porcelain is too delicate to withstand a heavy bite on its own. Traditionally, porcelain-fused metal crowns were the solution: a layer of porcelain is veneered to a durable metal foundation to give it strength. Porcelain-fused metal crowns are long-lasting, which can make them an appropriate restorative option for back teeth that are not highly visible. However, because light cannot pass through the metal base as it does with porcelain, PFM crowns tend to look overly opaque and unnatural. There is also a noticeable dark line marking the metal’s margin near the gumline.
Newer ceramics such as lithium disilicate and zirconia are durable enough to withstand the tremendous pressures of chewing, while offering a more aesthetic, metal-free alternative. When used for front teeth, these ceramics are veneered with porcelain for an appearance that perfectly mimics natural teeth.
Notice in the photos below the dulling effect of the metal foundation compared to the natural appearance when restored with all-porcelain crowns.
What if I need a bridge?
If you’ve lost a tooth and need a bridge, a metal-free ceramic bridge can be used to replace the missing tooth. Crowns are placed on the adjacent teeth and a false tooth is suspended between them. Another option for replacing a missing tooth is a dental implant.
If you think you need a crown and want to enjoy the natural appearance of a metal-free all-ceramic crown, call our office to schedule an examination or request an appointment online.
If you are not ready to commit to an examination at this time, ask for a complimentary consultation instead. You can spend a few minutes with Dr. Stillman as she explains the benefits of all-ceramic crowns and answers any questions you may have.