Porcelain is aesthetically reared in cosmetic and restorative dentistry for its natural appearance. It is a durable, stain-resistant material, with a semi-translucent finish nearly identical to natural tooth enamel. Porcelain crowns and crowns in general are prosthetic caps cemented over a tooth that our team of experts at Rush Creek Dentistry can put onto your tooth. Teeth that are damaged from decay and fractures may be eligible for a crown, depending on the level of damage to the root and surrounding tissues. Porcelain crowns are usually more expensive than metal or porcelain fused to metal.
Uses of Porcelain Crowns
Teeth that have been weakened by decay are more prone to fracturing and chipping. Tooth decay can erode the enamel and enter the pulp of the tooth, making a root canal necessary. In most cases, teeth that have had a root canal will need to be covered with a crown. Crowns are used for teeth that cannot be supported by common fillings due to the level of decay. Porcelain crowns can be used in dental bridges, a prosthetic meant to replace 2 or more teeth, bridging the gap. Porcelain crowns can also be used as a cap for a dental implant.
Pros and Cons to Porcelain Crowns
Porcelain crowns are aesthetically pleasing, and stain-resistant. Crowns can last 5-25 years, all depending on the oral habits and hygiene of the patient. Some porcelain crowns can last up to 30 years if patients take good care of them. Porcelain crowns are fairly durable, and more resistant to fractures than composite resin crowns, however, their longevity may vary depending on the placement of the crown in a patient's bite, and their oral hygiene habits. Porcelain crowns are ideal for people who have reduced space in their mouths. Porcelain is highly biocompatible. Alternative materials like metal and other alloys might trigger allergic reactions in some patients. Porcelain will not develop any color at the gum line, some metal crowns have been known to develop a dark line along the gumline.
Alternatives to Porcelain Crowns
Crowns serve the purpose of strengthening damaged tooth structure, preventing further tooth decay, and restoring a tooth's appearance. Inlays and onlays, are two variants of tooth fillings that are fabricated in a single piece, and inserted into the space of a cleaned tooth cavity. They can strengthen the integrity of a tooth and restore its function just like crowns. Inlays and onlays can be made from porcelain and tooth colored composite resins to restore the tooth's natural appearance. The procedure is not as extensive as a dental crown and it requires less tooth tissue to be removed.
Procedure for Installing Porcelain Crowns
To prepare for the crown the tooth needs to be cleaned and reshaped. The tooth is slightly tapered to make room for the putty and new crown. An impression of the tooth opposing the crown is made and sent to a dental lab to be fabricated. This can take 1-3 weeks, most dentists will fit a temporary crown over the prepared tooth for this period. Once the crown is prepared, the tooth is cleaned, and a dental adhesive is applied to cement the crown. The crown is fitted over the tooth and adjusted to fit the bite, finishing the procedure. If you are considering dental crowns for yourself or your child, our team at Rush Creek Dentistry is here to help. Call us at 682-277-0535 for more information or to schedule an appointment.