A dental crown is used to restore teeth. Often times the tooth structure is deteriorated to the point that a simple filling won’t hold up, and so the whole tooth needs to be capped to restore strength and functionality. also crowns, or veneers can be used to re shape, or resurface teeth for cosmetic purposes. The tooth will need to be ground down to where it will fit inside a crown that fills in the space of the natural tooth. It can be made of various types of material, which are named below.
Crowns are made for patients who need to:
1. Restore a tooth that has been deteriorated from decay, or was broken.
2. To provide additional support to a tooth that has been treated with a root canal.
3. To cosmetically cover a tooth that is misshapen tooth or discolored .
4. Use as an abutment for a fixed bridge
5. Cover the abutment of a dental implant.
There are three different types of crowns that we offer. Below you can read the details about each and compare the benefits to help you to decide which type of crowns you want.
1. Standard porcelain PFM crowns. The “PFM” stands for “porcelain fused to metal”. This is the standard crown that dentists in the US have used for years. The inside of the crown is made of base metal, a dental quality neutral metal. The outside of the crown is made of porcelain. There are two different finishes. The standard finish leaves the metal edges of the crowns exposed, so that the edge is thinner, and seats more easily under the edge of the gum. However, when the gum recedes, the metal edge is exposed, leaving a black line at the gum. For that reason, we do not use this type of finish for front teeth, nor for dental implants. Rather, we almost exclusively use the more aesthetic finish called “collarless” where the porcelain covers the entire crown, including the edge. This type of finish will never create a dark line at the gun. This type of crown is very durable, strong, and looks very nice, but is not as aesthetic as the other two types of crowns.
2. All porcelain E.max – Crowns and Veneers. This material has the most luminescent quality, and makes the prettiest teeth. Whether a crown, or veneer, these will give you a great smile. However, these crowns and veneers have certain limitations, mainly because they are all porcelain, they are more fragile, and don’t work well for back teeth, or when the patient has a bite that is too closed, and there is not enough space. Also, because the crowns are translucent, if the patient has a metal post from a root canal, or from a dental implant, a shadow might be visible. The dentist will tell you if you are a good candidate for e.max crowns.
3. Zirconium ceramic crowns. Zirconium is a super hard, and durable white ceramic material. When we make a crown from this material, the process includes a laser scan of the casting made from a mold of the prepared teeth. The info from the scan then goes into a cad/cam program that drives a diamond milling machine, to create the crowns. There are two types of zirconium crowns. All zirconium, with no porcelain overlay, and porcelain fused to a zirconium base. Although the zirconium has a fair translucence, it is not as translucent as porcelain. So for the most aesthetic crowns, the dental lab fuses porcelain over the zirconium. However, as with any crown, porcelain can chip. But with the 100% zirconium, chipping is not a problem. We call the 100% zirconium crowns “Bruxism crowns”, and is what we prefer to use when patients grind their teeth. However, with the newer materials, the zirconium is more translucent than before, and we can even make veneers out of this material. In any case, the zirconium make the very best crowns, a re the most durable, and because of being created with the aid of computer design, they will seal the best and last the longest. These crowns can be used for implants or root canal-ed teeth as well.
Fixed dental bridges are a method used to fill in missing teeth, through the use of crowns. Basically, when you are missing one or two teeth, the gap can be filled using a dental bridge of crowns. The teeth on either side of the missing teeth must be prepped to be covered over with a crown as well. Then, a bridge is made of crowns, the abutment crowns covering the actual teeth, as well as pontic crowns, that fill in the missing teeth. So, if you are missing one tooth, you would need a three unit bridge. If you are missing two consecutive teeth, you would need a bridge of 4 or more units. A fixed bridge is cemented in your mouth, and is not removable.