Kirkland Dentistry - Family & Cosmetic Care - A Beaverton/Hillsboro General Dentist

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Porcelain Crowns



To restore teeth with very large cavities, fractures, or loss of healthy tooth structure in the most esthetic way possible.

The Problem:

  • Badly decayed teeth
  • Fractured or worn teeth
  • Need to protect and strengthen teeth
  • Need to improve esthetics
  • Need to correct major bite problems
  • Desire to fix crooked teeth without having braces

The Solution:

A crown (often called a cap) covers the tooth and restores it to an ideal shape and size. Decay is removed from the tooth and an impression is made of the prepared surface. This mold is sent to a dental laboratory, which will create an all-porcelain crown or a porcelain crown with a gold substructure. The crown is then cemented onto the prepared surface of the tooth.

Advantages:

Porcelain crowns are very esthetic and can dramatically improve one's smile! This is especially true of "all-porcelain" crowns, which contain no metal, therefore eliminating the dark gum line of many traditional porcelain/metal crowns.

Crowns are incredibly strong and functional due to the fact that they are created in a laboratory. This protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure. In the hands of a skilled dentist, a crown will fit almost perfectly onto the prepared surface of the tooth, reducing the size of the seam between the crown and the tooth. This helps keep decay from eventually occurring under the crown.

Crowns should be placed before the tooth is so decayed that it may fracture. This can often help prevent the expense of root canal therapy in the future. It can also prevent the possibility that a fractured tooth may need to be removed, requiring the expense of a bridge or implant to replace the missing tooth.

Disadvantages:

Crowns are excellent restorations and have few disadvantages. They are highly durable and esthetic, but they may eventually need to be replaced. The most common cause of replacement is due to new cavity formation at the junction of tooth and crown from inadequate brushing and flossing.

Alternatives:

In the event that a tooth is so decayed or fractured that it needs to be removed rather than crowned, the best treatment options include a bridge or implant to replace the missing tooth.