When teeth have been damaged or lost, a crown provides the patient with the tooth’s original form, strength, and functionality.
A crown is a piece that restores or replaces the visible part of a tooth. When a tooth is missing, the tooth is often attached to a bridge that connects it to other teeth. New techniques also allow it to be attached to a dental implant. Sometimes, the damage to the tooth is severe but not enough to lose the tooth, for example, when a root canal is performed. In those cases, a crown is created in the shape of the part of the tooth that is missing in order to restore it.
A dental crown may be used to:
• Repair decayed teeth
• Support a dental bridge, by replacing a missing tooth
• Replace improper or failed fillings
• Restore broken or fractured teeth
Dental crowns are created out of many materials. Developments in dental research have allowed laboratories to create crowns that look and function like natural teeth.
Following are several different types of permanent crowns from which to choose:
Fabricated from pure ceramic, all porcelain crowns offer a very attractive appearance that blends seamlessly with your natural teeth. The natural quality of a porcelain crown is due to its lifelike color, which can be matched to blend perfectly with existing teeth. In many cases it is virtually impossible to tell the difference between a real tooth and a porcelain crown, because of its ability to mimic the translucency of real tooth enamel.
Modern ceramic technology now provides ceramic crowns with the strength and durability of metal. This is important for patients who grind their teeth, causing extensive damage and wear. Today, we can rebuild these teeth with natural looking, high-strength, long lasting restorations that look and function like real teeth. Porcelain crowns are stain-resistant and retain the natural color for the life of the crown. The strong material allows the crown to withstand biting and chewing like a healthy natural tooth.
Zirconia is a very strong and natural-looking material. Compared with other materials such as porcelain, Zirconia offers superior strength. Crowns made out of zirconia allow patients to chew and bite virtually any type of food without worry of damage or wear. Zirconia is quickly becoming the gold standard for dental crowns. It has the appearance of natural teeth, the strength of metal, and the resistance that makes it an ideal choice for long-term use. In fact, zirconia crowns can last a lifetime. Patients that choose a Zirconia crown may have it the rest of their lives.
Zirconia also closely resembles the look of natural teeth since it is more transparent than porcelain. With a Zirconia crown, you will be the only one that can tell which teeth are real and which are zirconia. More and more knowledgeable dental patients are choosing zirconia for their restorations. At Goodness Dental, patients can choose zirconia restorations at prices that are usually 50% to 80% less than prices at home.
A cross between metal and porcelain crowns, PFMs have a metal substructure that is layered with a thin layer of porcelain, fused to the metal in a high heat oven. This hybrid composition gives the crown a durable underlying structure with a tooth-colored exterior. PFM crowns are strong, however not as strong as ceramic or zirconia, and are often used for back teeth. While PFMs can be closely matched to natural teeth, the metal underneath the porcelain can make them appear less than completely natural. In time, the underlying metal may show through as a dark edge under the gum line.
This type of crown is made out of metals or alloys, including gold, palladium, nickel or chromium. In the past it made an excellent choice for teeth that are expected to withstand heavy chewing and biting forces, usually molars located in the back of the mouth. However, today advanced ceramic or zirconia crowns are preferred for their more natural appearance. While metal crowns are affordable and durable, the color makes it unsuitable for front teeth or for those that value a natural smile. Additionally, many patients are increasingly seeking non-metallic dental solutions to avoid possible damage from long-term exposure to metals in the body.