Benefits of Porcelain Dental Crowns

old man smiling

If you have a badly damaged tooth, a porcelain crown offers several advantages over dental caps made from other materials. Customized porcelain crowns will blend seamlessly in your mouth, complementing your surrounding natural teeth in color, shape and size.

Porcelain crowns look natural because they replicate the translucency of teeth – reflecting light like a natural tooth – and they ensure a long-term solution for strengthening and reshaping a tooth.

Porcelain dental crowns offer both health and cosmetic advantages, consolidating the structure of a tooth while restoring your smile.

Benefits of porcelain dental crowns include:

  • Customization. Porcelain crowns can be precisely matched to your surrounding teeth for a seamless appearance.
  • Stain resistance. Unlike some other dental materials, porcelain resists discoloration and stains.
  • Comfort. Modern porcelain crowns are custom-made with precision to ensure a comfortable fit.
  • Protection. Because the crown covers the entire tooth structure, it makes it more resilient to damage.
  • Low maintenance. No specialized upkeep is required for porcelain crowns – you simply brush and floss as normal.
  • Safety. The porcelain used in dental crowns is safe and effective.
  • Durability. Dental porcelain is extremely strong and can last 15 years or longer.
  • Functionality. Porcelain crowns provide optimal bite function.

What Is a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns provide a new outer surface for a tooth and are cemented in place to cover the section above your gum line. Getting a crown typically feels no different than having a filling with local anesthesia.

Crowns or partial crowns (onlays) are used when there’s not enough tooth structure to hold a filling. While a filling entails applying restorative material directly, crowns are custom-made from impressions.

To prepare a tooth for a crown, it has to be filed down to the right shape – often an irreversible procedure. If your tooth is severely damaged or decayed, it will need to be filled before a crown can be placed.

The hallmark of a dental crown is how it cups over a tooth to encase and strengthen it, providing a stabilizing splint that safeguards the tooth’s structural integrity. A crowned tooth can withstand a high level of chewing pressure without risk of damage.

Crowns have a high success rate compared with other dental restoration methods and are an effective long-term solution that offers more protection than a filling.

They can be kept clean with normal brushing, and a fluoride toothpaste will help to prevent decay where the tooth meets the edge of the crown. Crowns can sometimes become chipped but with proper care should last many years.

Crowns are considered cosmetic when used simply to make teeth look more attractive, but also play an important role in restoring functionality of damaged teeth.

Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain and gold and other metal alloys.

All-Porcelain Crowns vs. Metal Crowns

In the past, all crowns were made of metal, and their drawback lies in the metallic color. Although metal restorations can still be used for out-of-sight back teeth, many patients prefer tooth-colored porcelain crowns for front teeth because they match adjacent teeth.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can be matched to the color of surrounding teeth but the metal beneath the porcelain cap can show through as a dark line. The porcelain section may also chip or break off and there is more wear on the teeth opposite the crown.

All-porcelain crowns provide a better color match than metal types and are also a good option for people with metal allergies.

What Problems Can Porcelain Crowns Fix?

One of the major benefits of porcelain dental crowns is that they can give you the best chance of saving a tooth that’s beyond repair with a filling, whether it’s broken or seriously decayed. Dr. Trivedi a cosmetic dentist adds that along with repairing a damaged tooth porcelain crowns can help enhance your smile by replacing the exterior of the tooth with a cap that fits and looks natural in your mouth.

They can also be used to:

  • Protect a root filling.
  • Add length or width to a misshapen tooth.
  • Help to hold a bridge or dentures in place.
  • Improve the appearance of a discolored filling.
  • Cover a dental implant.

Porcelain Crowns for Dental Implants

While porcelain crowns are commonly used to restore a damaged tooth, an implant-supported crown can fill the gap caused by a missing tooth.

This is often a preferred alternative to a dental bridge, which needs to be anchored on either side by crowns and involves grinding down adjacent teeth, increasing the risk of cavities.

Preparation for an implant-supported crown entails surgical insertion of the implant – usually a titanium rod – followed by the fitting of a temporary crown while the implant fuses with the bone in the jaw.

What’s the Difference Between a Porcelain Crown and a Porcelain Onlay?

A porcelain onlay requires removal of less tooth structure than a crown. A dental onlay covers the cusp of a tooth while a crown covers the whole biting surface and tooth structure above the gum line.

Onlays tend to be slightly less costly than crowns but on the downside may not be covered by insurance, unlike crowns.

Are There Any Disadvantages of Porcelain Crowns?

All dental crowns entail filing down the tooth into the right shape to fit the crown. This is typically an irreversible and extensive procedure.

You may experience some discomfort shortly after having a crown fitted, particularly sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks, which can be eased with a toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth.

Another potential issue is discomfort when biting down, which can easily be rectified by adjusting the height of the crown.

Porcelain crowns may sometimes become chipped. Small cracks can often be repaired without removing the crown, while larger or multiple chips may require a complete replacement.

Are Porcelain Dental Crowns Right for Me?

Dental crowns remain a mainstay of tooth restoration – whether to repair a tooth stub or add the finishing touch to an implant – and the natural appearance of porcelain crowns is ideal for front teeth.

If one or more of your teeth is decayed, split or otherwise damaged, the benefits of porcelain dental crowns may provide the perfect solution. It can take some time to get used to a newly-fitted crown but it should soon start to feel just like a natural tooth.

A dentist specializing in all-porcelain crowns can help you decide whether this is the right type of tooth restoration for you.

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