Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain Crowns

What is a porcelain crown?

A porcelain crown is a type of dental crown used to cover and encase a tooth. Dental crowns are sometimes referred to as tooth caps or dental caps and are used to restore a tooth to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of the tooth. If your tooth requires a crown, and is visible when you smile, cosmetic dentist Dr. Chris Marsh most often will recommend a porcelain crown. While not as strong as a gold or metal crown, porcelain crowns are far more natural looking and aesthetically pleasing.

Why do teeth need porcelain crowns?

When a tooth initially begins to decay for the first time, a simple filling is usually all that is required to solve the problem. However, there are times when the damage to the tooth is too great for the tooth to support a filling. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won’t solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to seal the cracks so the damage doesn’t get worse. Crowns are also used to support a large filling when there isn’t enough of the tooth remaining, attach a bridge, protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discolored teeth. Severe damage to a tooth is usually caused by either decay or trauma. Damage can also be caused by grinding teeth, lost filings, and chipped or cracked enamel. Porcelain crowns can be used for a variety of purposes. In general, dental crowns are used to:

  • Restore a tooth to its original shape
  • Improve the aesthetic appearance of a tooth
  • Strengthen a weakened tooth
  • Severely decayed teeth
  • Protect teeth with root canals
  • Correct rotated teeth
  • Straighten crooked teeth

How long will a porcelain crown last?

The life span of a porcelain crown depends on a number of factors related to your specific lifestyle and teeth. Elements that can significantly shorten the lifespan of a porcelain crown include:

  • Exposure to excessive biting
  • Too much hard-chewing like ice and hard candy
  • Tooth grinding
  • Other tooth-trauma

Maintaining good oral health practices is the key to long-lasting porcelain crowns. The teeth that have porcelain crowns attached should be kept extra clean and free of dental plaque. If you follow our dental hygienist’s cleaning guidelines, you can expect your porcelain crowns to last at least 10 years and, in many cases, indefinitely.

How does a porcelain crown compare to a gold or metal crown?

Gold, metal and porcelain crowns differ in a number of ways. Gold and metal crowns are:

  • Very strong and will rarely chip or break
  • Good for an extremely precise fit
  • Obviously, are not so aesthetically pleasing if used on front teeth
  • Usually used only on teeth that are not visible when a person smiles (such as your molars)

Porcelain crowns, usually used under different circumstances than gold or metal crowns, offer their own advantages and disadvantages:

  • Natural look-very similar to real teeth
  • Not as strong as gold or metal crowns, so not the best choice for back teeth
  • Commonly used on the front teeth or teeth that are visible when you smile

How long does it take to fit a porcelain crown?

Generally, you will need to see Dr. Marsh on two separate occasions to have a porcelain crown fitted. Your specific circumstances will determine how long each appointment lasts.

Do I need a porcelain crown?

If you have a chipped, weakened or crooked tooth, a porcelain crown may be right for you. A porcelain crown is certainly right for you if you need a crown fitted on your front and/or visible teeth.

To learn more about porcelain crowns and discuss your options, please schedule a porcelain crowns consultation with Dr. Marsh by contacting our porcelain crowns office today.

Dr. Chris Marsh helps dental patients throughout Sedona, Cottonwood, Cornville, Flagstaff, Clarkdale and Munds Park achieve bright Sedona smiles with crowns.