A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap covering a damaged tooth to restore its shape and size and improve its appearance.
Your natural tooth and gum tissue will be numbed before the dentist prepares it for the crown. The tooth will be filed down along its chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown.
Porcelain fused with metal crowns was a popular restoration because it offered strength and an ideal appearance. They’re still used, but they are gradually losing ground to more modern types of crowns like pressed-over-metal crowns (POMs) and all-ceramic crowns fabricated using high-strength ceramics.
These hybrid restorations are fabricated by covering a metallic substructure with a layer of porcelain and then firing it at a high temperature. This simple process allows dentists to provide a more durable and less expensive tooth-replacement option than pure ceramic or all-metal crowns.
But PFM’s have a couple of limitations. Their opaque porcelain covering prevents light from passing through the restoration as it does in a natural tooth, which makes them less lustrous. Additionally, they’re vulnerable to shearing forces that can cause them to fracture. Fortunately, the dental industry has made much progress in improving crown materials and fabrication techniques, making it possible to create lifelike all-porcelain or metal-free replacements with greater durability than ever before.
PFM’s have a long track record of success, and they’re an excellent choice for areas of your mouth that require strength and aesthetics. But as technology improves and newer restorations become more readily available, many dentists will likely choose to migrate away from these conventional options.
As with most medical procedures, you must speak to your doctor about any potential allergies to materials before undergoing a procedure with a tooth-replacement crown. If you develop an allergy to the metal in your crown, it could affect your overall health.
Creating a crown takes about a week or two, so you’ll need to wait until your restoration is ready before your dentist can adhere it to your tooth. In the meantime, they will place a temporary crown over the damaged area to protect it. The crown’s color and appearance will ultimately be determined by the dental impressions taken in-office and sent to the lab, so these digital measurements must be accurate. A skilled ceramist can use various porcelain colors to match your teeth to perfection, utilizing the VITA Shade Guide for guidance.
Zirconia is a sturdy ceramic material that can be milled into a dental crown, providing the strength of metal but with a tooth-colored appearance. It is often used to make porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM) because it allows dentists to construct a sturdy yet thin crown that only requires removing a little of the original tooth structure for installation. This leaves a large portion of the natural tooth intact, which helps patients maintain a healthy smile.
Like all dental materials, zirconia has its pros and cons. However, zirconia dental crowns are a great option for those who prefer a natural look. Zirconia is opaque, which means it doesn’t reflect light like natural teeth. However, this can be overcome by layering porcelain on top of zirconia. This will help the crown to appear more translucent and lifelike.
Unlike porcelain, zirconia is durable and does not chip or crack as easily. It is especially good for molars because it can handle the constant pressure of chewing and grinding (bruxism). Zirconia can also hold up to higher bite forces, which makes it a strong choice for patients with heavy chewing needs.
However, it’s important to note that zirconia is not as stain-resistant as other materials. This means that if you are a smoker, drink coffee or tea frequently, or have other restorations on your teeth that may stain, then zirconia may not be the best option for you.
A benefit of zirconia is that it can be made in-office with the CEREC process, which enables your dentist to grind a block of zirconia into a custom fit directly in the mouth rather than taking an impression and sending it to a lab for fabrication. This helps to shorten the treatment time and gives you a more seamless, natural-looking restoration.
All-porcelain crowns are made of a porcelain material that covers a damaged tooth. They are typically used to restore front teeth and teeth that show when you smile or talk. They have a natural appearance and are resistant to staining, making them a good choice for patients who want a cosmetically appealing, durable crown. They are more expensive than other types of crowns. However, they last a long time if they are properly cared for. Regular dental visits, good oral hygiene, and avoiding sugary foods are all necessary to keep them looking and functioning well.
Like all other crowns, an all-porcelain crown is placed over a filed-down tooth and secured with cement. First, the dentist will prepare the tooth by cleaning and shaping it to fit the crown. A dental impression of the affected tooth will then be taken and sent to the lab as a model for the new crown. In the meantime, the patient will wear a temporary crown to protect the tooth.
Depending on the type of crown and its placement, various types of X-rays will be required to ensure that it fits correctly. These include periapical, panoramic, and cephalometric radiographs. These can help detect problems that might not be apparent to the naked eye, such as a small fracture or decay under a filling.
Porcelain and zirconia are two of the most common materials for crowns. However, other choices are also available, such as gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal, and zirconia crowns. Ultimately, it is up to the dentist to determine which material will be best for the individual case.
Historically, ceramic crowns have been less strong and durable than metal ones, but recent advances in ceramic composition and bonding techniques have improved their strength and appearance. Porcelain crowns are popular for patients because they look and feel most like natural teeth. However, the porcelain can sometimes chip and break if the tooth is exposed to heavy chewing or biting force. A stronger material like zirconia or porcelain-fused-to-metal may be a better option in these cases.
These crowns are made of a composite material color that matches your teeth. They are the lowest-cost option, but they are also less durable and do not withstand biting or chewing forces well. Therefore, they are best used as a temporary solution for damaged teeth. They are also more vulnerable to fractures and can cause damage to the natural tooth structure underneath them.
Metal crowns are another type of restoration available to restore damaged teeth. They are often used for molars and back teeth because they are extremely durable and strong but may not look as good as other types of crowns. Additionally, they can require a lot of natural tooth structure to be removed to be effective.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns are a popular choice because they combine metal’s strength with porcelain’s aesthetics. They can also be color-matched to your natural teeth, resulting in a more aesthetically pleasing appearance than other crowns. However, the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain may create a thin dark line that shows through at certain angles.
Zirconia crowns are another type of dental crown that is popular because they combine the durability of metal with the visual appeal of porcelain. These crowns are also very strong and can be colored to match your natural teeth, making them a great choice for molars and back teeth. They are also biocompatible, making them a good choice for patients with metal allergies.
Lithium disilicate crowns are a newer type of all-ceramic crown that is extremely translucent and thin. They can be difficult to work with because they are very sensitive to moisture and require careful handling. However, they provide superior strength and durability compared to monolithic zirconia crowns.
Indirect resin crowns are fabricated in the dentist’s office using a digital design model and an on-site milling unit. This process eliminates the need for impressions, physical molds, and temporary restorations, which reduces chair-side time and expense. The restorations can be fabricated in a single appointment and bonded to the prepared tooth for immediate use.