Before you can understand the benefits of ceramic crowns, you first need to understand what a dental crown is and how it is used. A crown is like a cap, customized specifically for each individual to cover a tooth. This restores the size and shape of the tooth, enhances performance and increases the strength. Cement is used to permanently secure the crown into place and protect the tooth. The thickness of this type of crown is constructed using a substance with the appearance of glass-like porcelain. The first crown made completely of ceramic was called a porcelain jacket. The majority of modern crowns are usually constructed with an engineered compound. The key advantage of a crown made of ceramic as opposed to another material is the more natural appearance.
Since the construction is 100% ceramic, many of the common issues with other types of materials have been eliminated. The fabrication techniques for making these crowns offer lifelike results no other type of restoration has been able to match. There are a lot of reasons crowns become necessary including:
• Covering a dental implant
• Restoration after having a root canal
• Large cavities that are unable to be filled
• Cosmetic issues including improperly shaped or discolored teeth
• Weak, worn down or cracked teeth
• Missing teeth requiring a bridge
Crowns are often used in pediatric dentistry. If the baby teeth are damaged due to decay, general anesthesia is not an option and poor hygiene is involved, the solution may be a crown. Dental crowns are effective for the restoration of a damaged tooth with many advantages over the alternatives. The best cosmetic option is considered to be a ceramic crown. The natural color match is much better than with the other available materials. They are also the best choice if you have any allergies to metal. Despite the numerous reasons for getting a crown, they are most frequently used for these four reasons:
• The Cosmetic Aspect: When a tooth is discolored or damaged, a crown can enhance the appearance. Crowns are also used to cover up an unattractive filling.
• The Dental Implant: When a tooth no longer has roots, it can be replaced with a dental implant. The dental implant is inserted into the jawbone of the individual. The top of the implant is then covered with a crown to enable the individual to chew normally. This is an important aspect of a permanent restoration.
• The Root Canal: When infection or decay causes irreparable damage to a tooth, the best option is usually a root canal. After this procedure has been completed, the strength of the weakened tooth is restored with a crown.
• The Tooth Reaching the Breaking Point: When a tooth is cracked, the structure of the tooth is often placed at risk. In this instance, a crown becomes necessary. A cracked tooth is often extremely painful. Not only does a crown eliminate this pain, but the tooth will also become a lot stronger.
Even though crowns made of ceramic have not yet reached the popularity of porcelain-fused-to-metal (PMF) crowns, there are several excellent reasons the ceramic material is preferable. One of the best reasons is the tooth will look much more natural. The ceramic material does not leave a dark line from the metal on the tooth as a PFM crown does. PFM crowns also use metal that can trigger a metal allergy that the ceramic material will not.
There are two different types of construction for porcelain crowns in the dental sector. These are PMF and all-ceramic. There are two different components used to make a PFM crown. The fabrication begins with the substructure or the creation of the metal shell. This is what fits over the tooth. The tooth-like color and shape come from the fusion of porcelain over the substructure. When the crown is ceramic, 100% of the thickness of the crown comes from the ceramic. This is extremely important due to the way the crown handles light. The luster of a natural tooth is the glistening, sparkling, glossy, shiny and luminous appearance. This is derived from the penetration of light into the enamel layer of the tooth in addition to the way the light reflects outwards. Crowns with a ceramic construction emulate this effect.
When the ceramic or porcelain of the crown is more translucent and thicker, the way the crown handles the light will be better. This is what provides the look of a natural tooth. PMF crowns do not have the translucency of ceramic. The biggest issue with PMF crowns is the dark metal substructure. A white, very opaque layer of porcelain is used to cover the substructure to prevent the tint of the metal from showing through. This means the translucent porcelain layer is fairly thin. This negatively impacts the ability of the crown to appear as a natural tooth. Since crowns constructed of ceramic do not have a dark metal substructure to hide, much more of the actual thickness is translucent porcelain. This gives the crown the ability to look like a real tooth.
The ceramic has another advantage over PFMs. Another issue is created due to the metal substructure used in the creation of a PFM crown. If the gum of the individual begins to recede, the edge of the metal may start to show. This will ruin the natural appearance of the tooth. There are techniques currently being used by dental professionals to handle this issue. One of the benefits of a crown made of ceramic is this issue simply does not exist. The method used to fabricate the crown is also important for the general appearance. There are different ways to make a crown constructed of ceramic. The higher the level of characterization, the better the crown. This includes the white to grey translucency and the dark to light shade of porcelain.
The best types of ceramic crowns have the ability to simulate the same luster found in the natural tooth. The construction of the crown should enable different kinds of porcelain to be used in the different areas of the crown. Each type of porcelain should have a slight difference in the translucency of the material. If only one type of porcelain is used, the crown will be limited to one translucency and shade. The fact that no tooth is completely uniform in appearance must also be considered. The coloration of each tooth is different along with the translucency. These are the reasons the level of characterization is so important for a natural appearance. The crown also has to match the appearance of the surrounding teeth as closely as possible. If too many crowns are placed in the same area, they may not appear natural due to the uniformity.
There are biocompatibility benefits for using crowns made of ceramic. The different kinds of ceramic used to make crowns usually do not have any more abrasiveness than dental enamel. Unfortunately, this is not true of the porcelain used to construct PFM crowns. This kind of porcelain is extremely abrasive to dental restorations and the surrounding teeth. If the crown was not glazed or polished correctly, the result is significant wear. Although it is not common, there are individuals allergic to one or more of the component metals located in the different kinds of alloys used to construct a PFM crown. When a PFM crown is being placed, the dental professional places a temporary crown on the tooth until the permanent crown is ready, resulting in an additional appointment.
When the crown is made of ceramic, the dental professional can usually make the crown in the office. A temporary crown is unnecessary because the permanent crown can be cemented into place during the same visit. The two-week wait for a PFM crown to be made is no longer a factor. A temporary crown can also become dislodged. This has a negative impact on the appearance of the tooth. The tooth only needs to be numbed once. This means less anesthesia is involved.
The Procedure for Ceramic Crowns
All of the work involved for an individual needing a dental crown constructed from ceramic is conducted during the initial appointment. Once the tooth has been numbed, the dental professional shapes the tooth. This involves trimming away a portion of the tooth structure. The amount of the tooth that needs to be removed is based on the type of dental crown being used and the unique requirements of each individual. This trimming is necessary to enable the crown to slip easily on top of the tooth. Although the crown is cemented into place, the correct shape of the tooth is responsible for the stability and strength of the tooth as time passes.
Once the dental professional has the ideal shape, an impression of the tooth is taken to make certain the crown will fit perfectly over the tooth. The tooth is then cleaned and dried. The gums are pushed back. This enables the impression material to show an accurate likeness of the tooth. The material is placed on the tooth prior to the impression tray being pushed down onto the tooth until there is just one unit. After the impression has been removed, it will solidify. This provides a type of mold of the tooth needing a crown. To make certain the individual’s teeth come together correctly for chewing and biting, a bite impression is taken. Some dental professionals prefer more modern optical impressions. This is when a digital impression is used to make the crown as opposed to a physical one.
Before the crown can be placed on the tooth, a color match is necessary. The impression is used to construct the new crown. If this process occurs in a lab as opposed to the office of the medical professional, more time is required and a temporary crown is used. Once the crown is ready for placement, the tooth is numbed. If there is a temporary crown, it is removed. The new ceramic crown is placed to check the appearance and ensure the fit is ideal. The crown may be taken off and adjusted several times during this process. Once an ideal fit is assured, permanent cement is used to hold the crown in place. The individual bites down as directed until the cement is fully set. The last step is scraping away any excess cement on or around the tooth.
You will discover the majority of tips for caring for your crown are obvious. You need to avoid any extremely chewy or hard foods such as candy or ice because they can potentially cause damage to the crown. If you have a history of grinding or clenching your teeth, you will most likely be advised to use a mouthguard for protection when you are sleeping. Consistent grinding over time can not only wear down your crown but your teeth as well. Traditional oral care including flossing and brushing will help prevent gum disease and decay for the tooth.
Prior to the placement of the crown, the dental professional will perform an evaluation of the supporting bone structure and the gums to ensure the tissue is healthy. The ultimate goal is the protection of the tooth and decreasing the chance for gum recession. This is referred to as the crown margin. When the crown has an ideal fit and appropriate care, the crown will last for years. The correct placement of a crown provides protection for a damaged tooth and eliminates the associated pain.
The Many Benefits of Ceramic Crowns
Crowns are an excellent option for strengthening broken and damaged teeth and providing a beautiful smile. Although there are numerous different materials available such as gold, many dental professionals believe the majority of the benefits can be achieved with ceramic crowns. This type of crown offers a wide range of benefits including:
• The crown provides the necessary protection and strength required for the damaged tooth.
• The crown provides significant support for a tooth that was badly damaged due to decay.
• The creation of the crown uses exact specifications. This means the crown will have the ideal fit the first time without any adjustments being necessary.
• Since the crown is made of a material friendly to the soft tissue, the gums are able to begin growing back around the tooth.
• Provides the protection necessary after a root canal procedure.
• Crowns made of ceramic are a beautiful and natural enhancement for every smile.
• The success rate for dental crowns is extremely high when compared to the other restoration methods available or simply not receiving any treatment.
• The crown is beautifully constructed to reflect the light and appear almost identical to the natural tooth.
• Crowns are an excellent way to hide a dental implant.
• The crown improves the look of the tooth by changing the color or shape.
• Dental crowns are durable and generally last for years.
Please book an appointment at Brevard Smiles if you believe you may need a ceramic crown. Our offices are located in Indian Harbour Beach and Viera/Rockledge. Contact us today to set up a dental appointment!