You likely need a dental crown if you have a tooth that’s cracked, worn, broken, or severely decayed. A crown will replace the entire outer layer of your tooth and cover it completely right down to the gum line. The goal of a crown is to preserve and strengthen your natural tooth in order to avoid losing it.
Years ago, crowns were made entirely of metal. Then technology was developed to fuse porcelain to metal to make a more life-like restoration. There are now modern ceramics that can faithfully mimic the appearance of a tooth so much so that no one can tell it’s not a real tooth.
What Is a Porcelain Crown?
Porcelain crowns fall into two main categories: full porcelain crowns and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Metal crowns covered with a tooth-colored layer of porcelain are strong and they look nicer than regular metal crowns, but they have some cosmetic drawbacks. For example, they can leave a dark line near your gums if your gum tissue later recedes and reveals the metal base. Additionally, the porcelain can’t completely hide the metal core so there has to be an opaquer that helps obscure the dark color. This makes the teeth look chalky instead of slightly translucent the way natural tooth enamel is. You can see the difference in this case where porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns have been replaced with all-porcelain crowns.
Pure porcelain crowns can make capped teeth look perfectly natural. But the problem with pure porcelain is that, on back teeth, it’s too weak to withstand the forces of biting and chewing. That’s why porcelain crowns today are actually made from stronger and more resilient types of ceramic.
Dr. Tostado uses crowns that are made from high-strength pressed ceramic and coated with porcelain since these work just as well as metal crowns and look much better. He also places crowns made of zirconia, a material known as “ceramic steel” in the dental industry. Zirconia crowns are extremely strong and well-suited for back teeth that experience a lot of wear and tear.
Advantages of Ceramic and Porcelain Crowns
Ceramic crowns have significant advantages over metal crowns:
- They look more realistic and add cosmetic value to your smile
- They won’t leave a dark line near your gums even if you experience gum recession
- They don’t contain any metal since they are bonded directly to your teeth
- Some types of ceramic crowns like CEREC can be made in a single day
Porcelain Crowns by Dr. Tostado
Dr. Tostado places all-ceramic and porcelain-covered ceramic crowns, bridges, and implant restorations here at 5 Star Dental Group.
If you need a porcelain crown, Dr. Tostado will start by trimming your tooth down into a solid base, removing the weak and decayed parts. He will then take an impression or digital scan of your tooth and then create your crown right here in our on-site dental lab. In some cases, we’ll mill your new crown with computer technology while you wait a few minutes. In other cases, depending on the type of crown you and Dr. Tostado decide to do, you’ll have a temporary crown to wear while you wait for your crown to be finished. Once your crown is ready, you’ll come in for a second appointment and he will let you try it on to see how it looks and feels. He’ll bond it permanently in place once you’re happy with it.
See some samples of porcelain crowns we have placed in our Smile Gallery.
Call us or fill out the Request an Appointment form if you think your tooth might need a porcelain dental crown.