Dental crowns allow us a way to restore teeth that are no longer structurally sound. If a tooth is in danger of failure, quite often we are able to save it by placing a crown over it. Teeth that have been capped with crowns can last you the rest of your life, assuming you make regular trips to our office to ensure it is still viable and doesn’t need repair. So what are crowns and how can they help you? At Kooning Family Dentistry, our goal is to educate our patients on all procedures and treatments so that they can make informed decisions going forward. Here are the basics about dental crowns.
What a Dental Crown IsA dental crown is a cap that is made to look like a natural tooth, that sits atop a tooth and performs all of its functions. It’s like a hard hat for your tooth, that looks just like your tooth.
When would I need a crown?There are a number of circumstances that lead to patients needing a crown. If a tooth has experienced trauma and possesses a crack or chip that make it unsuitable to continue doing its job, a crown would be a great solution. Crowns are often used when an amalgam filling has failed and the tooth doesn’t possess enough structural integrity. Amalgam fillings often require large portions of the tooth to be removed in order to be successful—eventually, when the fillings fail, a crown can save the tooth.
Kinds of CrownsThere are a few different kind of materials that can be used to craft crowns. Different materials give different aesthetic effects and are varied in their ability to withstand pressure. Some materials will last longer than others, and some are better suited to restore certain teeth.
Porcelain CrownsPorcelain is a material that is quite frequently used to make all kinds of different dental restorations. It has a beautiful aesthetic and is decently durable. Porcelain is not the strongest material and is not typically used to restore molars.
Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM)Because porcelain has a beautiful aesthetic but not enough strength to handle being a stand-alone molar restoration, PFM’s were designed to allow the aesthetic benefits of porcelain while also giving the strength of metal. These restorations are not as flawlessly beautiful as pure porcelain, but in the case of molar restorations that won’t likely be seen frequently they are a stellar combination of beauty and strength.
Zirconia and CeramicZirconia (which is a ceramic itself) offers some of the most impressive strength and durability of all dental restoration materials. Crowns made of Zirconia are incredibly durable and boast the added benefit of needing less of the tooth to be altered than some of the other restoration options.
GoldGold is the oldest restoration material still used in modern dentistry. Gold restorations have a beautiful aesthetic that many people prefer. It is also one of the most natural feeling restoration materials available. Gold restorations are durable and are known to last a lifetime.
Please call us today at (503) 673-9097 to schedule your appointment.