There are several reasons why a tooth may need a crown. Generally speaking though, a crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. If a tooth is comprised of 50% or more filling, a crown may be a good measure to help prevent a fracture of the tooth. When a tooth breaks due to being weakened by a large filling, sometimes it will not be salvageable, and extraction of the tooth is the best option. A root canal may weaken a tooth as well. For this reason, crowns often accompany this procedure. A crown is also a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. Dental implants are completed with a crown as well.
A crown is considered a success when it lasts about 12 to 15 years. Often they will last much longer. When a crown does fail though, it is usually because it either is physically worn through or a cavity has developed at the point where the crown ends, and the root begins. (For this reason, it is important to gently brush around the crown). Crowns can be made from a variety of materials – each with its own pros and cons. Gold is very durable and can last decades, however, many people don’t want gold-colored teeth. A porcelain fused to a metal crown has a metal base with white porcelain baked around it. It is durable, but not as much as gold is. PFM’s blend in well since they are tooth colored; however, sometimes the metal collar at the base of the crown can show through a bit.
This is less of an esthetic concern for back teeth, therefore, this is the primary location for PFM’s. All porcelain crowns have come a long way over the years. New products such as E.max Empress crowns (lithium disilicate ceramic) are made from ultra-strong, life-like materials. These new ceramic crowns rival the strength of gold, wear extremely well and look amazingly lifelike. Since there is no metal collar, the crown exhibits translucency just as natural teeth do. Custom shades allow us to restore your smile to the way it was meant to be while you can still have the confidence to chew on your crown without fear of it breaking.
If we recommend a crown, it is to strengthen a tooth and enhance it esthetically. Our primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright, and a crown may be the best way to accomplish this.
If you’re missing one or more teeth, you may notice a difference in chewing and speaking. There are options to help restore your smile.
Bridges help maintain the shape of your face, as well as alleviate the stress in your bite by replacing missing teeth.
Sometimes called a fixed partial denture, a bridge replaces missing teeth with artificial teeth, looks great, and literally bridges the gap where one or more teeth may have been removed. The restoration can be made from gold, alloys, porcelain or a combination of these materials and is bonded onto surrounding teeth for support.
Unlike a removable bridge, which you can take out and clean, a fixed bridge can only be removed by a dentist.
An implant bridge attaches artificial teeth directly to the jaw or under the gum tissue. Depending on which type of bridge your dentist recommends, its success depends on its foundation. So it’s very important to keep your remaining teeth healthy and strong.
It should be noted that in most situations an implant is the best solution for a missing tooth especially when the cost is usually about the same for both procedures. If you have a missing tooth that you wish to replace, we would love to discuss what options would work best for you.