Porcelain crowns, also known as dental crowns or dental caps, are used to restore damaged, eroded, or severely decayed teeth. Porcelain crowns can be matched to the surrounding teeth and can improve the color and shape of the affected tooth to create a seamlessly beautiful smile. In addition porcelain gives the tooth a translucent appearance, which makes it look like a natural tooth. There are different types of porcelain crowns including:
- Feldspathic Crowns: highly aesthetic, but difficult to work with so not often used.
- Empress Crowns: A two layer crown that uses an inner layer of medium-strength pressed ceramic and an outer layer of glass. Offers beautiful results with moderate strength.
- Procera Crowns: A two layer crown that uses an aluminum oxide base with an outer layer of feldspathic porcelain. Milled using CAD technology.
- Zirconia Crowns: A two layer system similar to Procera Crowns with a Zirconia exterior
- Emax Crowns: Type of porcelain that can be applied in layers and provides exceptional strength.
Did You Know?
Even though porcelain crowns can fit over existing teeth to restore areas of damage and decay, they can also be used as a replacement for missing teeth as well. Two options that allow dental crowns to be used to replace missing teeth are dental bridges and dental implants.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Am I a candidate for a porcelain crown?
You may be a candidate for a porcelain crown if you have a tooth (or teeth) that is severely decayed, damaged, or eroded. Additionally, a porcelain crown may be an ideal option if you have had a root canal on the affected tooth, are replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant, or if the affected tooth requires additional strength and support. You may also be an ideal candidate for a porcelain crown if you have a metal allergy and are looking for an alternative to traditional metal dental crowns. To find out if a porcelain crown is right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul Kim of Dream Dental today!
What can I expect when getting a porcelain dental crown at Dream Dental?
When getting a porcelain crown at Dream Dental, you can expect to first undergo a consultation. During your consultation, Dr. Kim will examine your mouth and make treatment suggestions. If you decide to have a dental crown placed, then your tooth will be properly prepared. To prepare your tooth for a porcelain crown, Dr. Kim will first remove the damaged or decayed portions of your tooth. Then he will shape the remaining tooth structure so that a dental crown can fit over it.
After properly shaping your tooth, Dr. Kim will take a dental impression of your mouth. A dental impression is taken by having you bite down into a soft goo inside a metal or plastic tray. This soft goo will gradually harden into a rubber-like consistency within a minute and will be used to make a model of your mouth. This model will be used to fabricate your custom porcelain crown.
While your permanent porcelain crown is being fabricated, you will likely be fit with a provisional, or temporary, dental crown. When wearing your temporary crown, you will want to take special care to prevent removing the crown by avoiding foods that are sticky, chewy, hard, crunchy, or difficult to chew. You will also want to chew on the side opposite of the temporary crown and be careful when flossing.
Once your permanent porcelain crown has been fabricated, it will be placed into your mouth. To do this, Dr. Kim will first remove your temporary restoration. Then, he will apply a composite resin material to the existing tooth structure and slip on your dental crown so that it fits securely against the gum line. A special curing light will be used to harden the composite resin and adhere the dental crown to your tooth. Your dental crown will then be buffed and polished so that it fits properly and smoothly into your mouth.
What should I expect after having a porcelain crown placed at Dream Dental?
After having a porcelain crown placed at Dream Dental, you can return to your usual routine. You will need to maintain a dental routine of brushing twice daily, flossing once daily, and visiting Dream Dental every six months for your dental checkup and professional teeth cleaning.
Additionally, to avoid damaging your porcelain crown you will want to avoid excessively hard foods, biting your nails, grinding your teeth, chewing on ice, or using your teeth as an opener. Although porcelain crowns are highly durable, these activities can damage both your crown as well as your natural teeth and should be avoided.
Will I be able to tell the difference between my porcelain crown and natural teeth?
The color of your porcelain crown will be matched to your existing teeth and will be indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Placing your dental crown against the gum line will further help it to blend in with your other teeth. You may be able to feel a slight difference between your dental crown and other teeth, however if this difference is significant, talk to Dr. Kim about improving its shape or texture.
Can I have my teeth straightened or whitened with dental crowns?
Having your teeth straightened with a dental crown is possible, however most dentists and orthodontists recommend using clear plastic aligners in place of traditional metal braces. This is because traditional wire braces may not attach to your dental crown properly.
You can also have your teeth whitened with a dental crown, however the dental crown itself will not change color. Depending on the location of your dental crown, this may or may not be a problem. For example, if the crown is in a location that is not immediately visible, it may not matter if it remains its color. However, if your dental crown is visible or if you want all your teeth to be whiter, than you may want to consider having your teeth whitened prior to having your dental crown placed.
How long will my porcelain dental crown last?
If well taken care of, your porcelain crown should last about 10-15 years. However, this depends on the location of your crown and the amount of damage that was present before the crown was placed.
How much does a porcelain dental crown cost?
The cost of your porcelain dental crown depends upon the type of porcelain dental crown you decide on and the extent and location of your treatment. However, the average cost of a porcelain crown can average anywhere from $800-$3,000 per tooth. If you have dental insurance, most plans will cover up to 50% on restorative procedures such as dental crowns. There are also financing options available to get you the dental treatment you need.
Dream Dental is committed to providing an exceptional dental experience to patients in Torrance, Palos Verdes, Gardena, and the surrounding South Bay areas. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Paul H. Kim today!