- What is a crown?
- When do I need a crown?
- What are crowns made from?
- Which is the best type of crown for me?
A crown, also known as cap, is a dental prosthesis used to fix severely damaged and broken teeth. By placing a crown on top of your tooth, you protect the entire tooth portion sitting above the gums. Essentially, placing a crown restores broken teeth back to their original, healthy form. Plus, crowns seal off your teeth against cavities and traumatic forces to better protect your teeth from future damage.
You need a crown whenever a dental filling is not strong enough to protect your tooth. Here are some examples of cases where a crown might be required:
- Cracked and fractured teeth usually need a crown to prevent them from breaking even more. By placing a crown on your tooth at the right time, you avoid the need for root canal treatment or even tooth loss!
- Talking about root canals, almost all root canal treated teeth require a crown afterwards. Root canal therapy weakens your tooth and placing a crown helps strengthen and restore your tooth.
- Some crowns are elective and placed primarily for cosmetic purposes. For example, cosmetic crowns are used to fix chipped or discolored teeth.
- Even children occasionally require a crown on one or more of their baby teeth. Ever noticed a child with metal teeth in the back of his or her mouth? These are stainless-steel crowns placed on top of infected baby teeth to protect them.
We typically make crowns from gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal or ceramic material. Here is a bit more info about each one:
- Gold Crown: In the old days, all dental crowns used to be made from gold. Since gold is sturdy yet malleable, it made an excellent choice for fabricating dental prosthesis. However, gold has since fallen off in popularity in part due to its high costs and patient’s preference for natural looking teeth.
- Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crown: Abbreviated as PFM, these crowns consist of an inner layer made from metal alloys and an outer layer made from porcelain. The inner metal provides strength against chewing while the outer porcelain gives natural looking appearance.
- Ceramic Crown: Ceramic crowns are similar to PFMs but without the metal on the inside. Since ceramic is much stronger than porcelain, ceramic crowns are strong enough to handle your entire pressure on their own. They are very sturdy, easy to clean and natural looking. Additionally, they age very well and maintain their appearance over the years.
There are many different types of ceramic crown, such as e-max and bruxzir, each with its own implications. For instance, e-max is very natural and ideal for restoring front teeth. Plus, e-max can be layered to create a more natural looking appearance to satisfy the most selective patients. Bruxzir is very sturdy and ideal for restoring posterior teeth on patients with a heavy bite or grinding habits. Bruxzirs are extremely sturdy and almost never chip or break over the years.
Both PFM and ceramic crowns are great options for restoring your damaged teeth. However, ceramic crowns are generally preferred over PFM for the following reasons:
- Porcelain is not as durable as ceramic. PFMs typically fracture over time and the porcelain strips off from the inner metal layer. If you grind your teeth heavily or have bite issues, you may want to stay away from PFMs altogether.
- PFMs look similar, but not identical, to your natural teeth. This is because the inner metal layer of PFM reflects light differently than natural teeth do. As a result, teeth with PFM on them tend to look dimmer and have a fake looking appearance to them. On the other hand, ceramic crowns look virtually indistinguishable from your own teeth.
- Ceramic crowns age better with time as compared to PFMs. Over time, our gums continue to recede which exposes the inner metal layer of PFMs. This creates a purplish-bluish line where your PFM crown meets the gums, causing an aesthetic compromise, especially when in the front.
- Finally, PFMs are harder to clean as compared to ceramic crowns. This results in more bleeding around these teeth and makes hygiene more challenging.
Keep in mind, PFMs still have plenty of implication in dentistry and we use them quite frequently. However, if you want the absolute best, you should elect to go with a ceramic crown instead.
If you’re in need of crowns in San Clemente, give us a call at (949) 481-2540 or book online today. Our dentist, Dr. Jazayeri, will help you determine if you need a crown. We will also help you choose the right type of crown for your needs. Don’t wait until you have a toothache or infection, call us today and see how easy and affordable fixing your mouth can be!
To learn about dental issues related to crowns, click on the following links: