How do you know when your tooth needs a porcelain crown? Generally speaking, when a tooth is damaged to the degree that it is in danger of breaking, a crown is required to protect what remains of the of the tooth’s structure.
You may wonder why Dr. Perry would not just remove a tooth damaged to that degree–it is because the loss of a tooth also means the loss of bone mass in the jaw at the site of that missing tooth.
If the tooth is too badly damaged, then Dr. Perry will remove it and replace it with a dental bridge or dental implant, but if possible, most dentists will try to preserve and protect any remaining viable tooth structure. The kind of crown you get depends on the location of the damaged tooth, and whether or not you grind your teeth or there are any other extra considerations required for unusual stress.
Different Types of Dental Crowns
The very strongest kinds of dental crowns involve some kind of metal. If appearance is not important to you, this can be an economical alternative for back teeth that are not as visible. Many dentists like to use all-gold crowns for molars. For baby teeth, stainless steel can be an affordable alternative.
Another type of crown is a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. While quite strong, this is not considered an aesthetically acceptable crown for placement in the front of the mouth by cosmetically minded dentists. Placement is easier, as this kind of crown can be fixed with cement rather than bonding, which is much less challenging. Many general dentists prefer this type of crown because of its strength and easier placement. Cosmetic dentists will not place them in the front of the mouth, because it is simply impossible to get a realistic, beautiful result. This type of crown can never mimic the translucency of natural teeth.
The third main type of crown is the all ceramic or all porcelain crown. There are many different kinds with varying materials and qualities, and it can be a little overwhelming when you start looking at all the alternatives and possibilities. The best bet in this situation is to let your cosmetic dentist do what he trained all those years to do: make the right decision about which porcelain crown is best for your unique needs.
In our office, we can provide porcelain crowns in just a single day. See our page about CEREC crowns for more information.