Gone are the days when all metal crowns, or crowns with a metal foundation were your only option. Today, crowns can be made out of pure porcelain or other ceramics. When the crowns are showing in your smile, the porcelain helps achieve a beautiful, natural-looking smile.
Why a Porcelain Crown?
If a tooth has a large filling, there is a strong likelihood that it will break at some point, possibly making the tooth unrestorable. In some cases, teeth with large fillings already have cracks in them. Also, back teeth with root canal treatments are particularly vulnerable to fracture. Whenever you have one of these situations, Dr. Lane will recommend a crown to protect the tooth rather than doing a filling. And if the crown is done with all porcelain or with a high-strength ceramic veneered with porcelain, it will look so natural that no one will know it’s not a real tooth.
All Porcelain Crowns vs. Porcelain Fused to Metal
In the past, when a dentist wanted to use porcelain in a crown, it had to be baked onto a metal foundation, in order to be strong enough. Although this yielded a functional result, the aesthetics were less than desirable. Due to the metal framework underneath, the porcelain fused to metal crowns require the use of an opaquer to cover the metal, which makes it impossible to fully re-create the translucency of natural teeth. They also eventually will show a dark line at the edge, next to the gum. This comes because the metal shows through at the margin. The dental lab often will cut back the metal at the margin to help this look better, but this technique never seems to completely eliminate the discoloration or the line that appears. Dentists try to hide this line under the gum, but this technique does not always prove successful. Later, after the gum may recede a little bit, that dark line may show up in spite of anything the dentist has done to hide it.
But while porcelain fused to metal has been used for its strength, there are recent developments that have made all porcelain crowns more practical. Using bonding technology, Dr. Lane can bond your porcelain crown to your tooth without using a metal foundation. Bonding directly to the tooth gives the crown extra strength.
In addition to that, there are newer ceramics that are extremely strong. One of these very strong ceramics is lithium disilicate, which forms the foundation of the e.max crown. In most single crown situations, Dr. Lane will use an e.max crown. Porcelain is baked onto this very tough ceramic foundation, giving an excellent combination of high strength and high aesthetics. They have a natural translucency which is very life-like, and enough strength that they can function well under chewing pressure. The enamel of a natural tooth is mimicked with the surface glaze of the porcelain, and the color-blending technique reflects the appearance of the teeth.
If you think you may need a porcelain crown, just call for an appointment. Or, if you would like us to call you, you may visit our request an appointment page.