When a tooth becomes cracked or damaged beyond the capacity of a veneer or bonding to fix, a dental crown is often used to protect and restore the tooth. Dental crowns are frequently called caps. In cases where a tooth is missing or needs to be extracted, crowns can be placed over the implant. In the past, metal crowns were common, but just as fillings have become as inconspicuous as possible over the years, so have crowns. This is the reason why Dr. Zadeh offers the natural and pleasing-looking option of porcelain and ceramic crowns.
Why Would I Need a Dental Crown?
Porcelain and ceramic crowns take the place of a tooth when used with an implant. They are also used to repair and protect a damaged tooth. Cracked teeth, teeth that have undergone a root canal, and dental implants all need to be protected with crowns. Some patients who have staining or darkness in the tooth that is too extensive for veneers may also opt for a crown; however, this is used as a last resort.
Crowns protect damaged teeth from further harm, breakage, and deterioration by protecting the remainder of the tooth and restoring the tooth to its original beauty. For implants, the crown simply serves as an aesthetically pleasing replacement for the missing tooth and provides balance to the smile.
The most common uses are:
- Restoring your tooth or teeth after root canal therapy
- Preparing for a bridge fitting
- Dental Implants
- Augmenting partial dentures
- Restoring broken, cracked, severely discolored, or worn teeth
- Extensive discoloration too severe for veneers or bleaching
How Are Crowns Placed On My Teeth?
Dr. Zadeh will take digital impressions of your teeth to create a crown. Thanks to modern advances and the addition of our CEREC machine, you can often get a permanent crown the same day as your appointment. It will also be done without messy impression moulds. Next, he will prepare your tooth or teeth by sanding down the enamel to create a good bonding surface for the cap(s). Dr. Zadeh will then place the crown around the tooth or implant after it has been manufactured by his dental lab.
During this process, he will make sure that the crown sits perfectly, feels comfortable, and is secure in your mouth. After your dental crown is placed, Dr. Zadeh will set up another appointment to make adjustments and make sure the crown is sitting properly. As crowns are constructed outside of your mouth, they are fit more precisely than other restorative appliances like onlays and fillings. This allows the new crown to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your teeth, replacing any missing or damaged tooth structure.
In the past, crowns required a significant part of the tooth to be ground or sheared away to allow the crown to sit properly and match the tooth. This has become progressively less common and minimal preparation is required now for crowns. A very small amount of your tooth will be shaved and removed to allow your crown to set. Dr. Zadeh will attempt the most conservative treatment to protect as much of the healthy tooth as possible.
The most common and popular format for molars and premolars, porcelain crowns can last from ten to fifteen years with proper care and are an extremely convenient way of preserving your teeth. Smoking and/or not regularly cleaning your teeth can stain the porcelain, so good dental hygiene and regular dentist cleanings are a necessity to keep your crown looking its best. While there are no guarantees that your crown will last forever, the high standards of quality that Dr. Zadeh holds will ensure it will last for years to come. Sometimes, your crown can last you the rest of your natural life.
Other Types of Crowns
When frontal teeth are involved, Dr. Zadeh chooses to use ceramic crowns for both aesthetic and medical reasons. All-ceramic crowns offer the most natural-looking tooth substitute available today and are the best choice for your front teeth, as the qualities and reactions to light of ceramic match those of your natural teeth. For this reason, Dr. Zadeh tends to recommend the stronger porcelain crowns for back teeth, and the more natural-looking ceramic crowns for front teeth. This mix-and-matching process is not unlike those of veneers, and it will not be uncommon for your crowns, especially if you require multiple, to be made of slightly different materials. This allows the doctor exacting control over the aesthetic qualities and give you the most natural appearance possible. Our computer aided system also allows us to create crowns that are virtually identical to your old tooth. The days of a tooth being the odd-man out or shinier than the others have truly become a thing of the past thanks to the shade grading made available by machine assisted manufacturing.
Gold alloy crowns are still common, but are not used as often due to their high cost and the disruption they cause to your appearance. Gold and its alloys were favored for their sturdy nature, but they have been replaced by the affordable porcelain and ceramic crowns. Gold crowns are still offered by many dentists, but Dr. Zadeh prefers not to use them because they do not match your natural teeth and their cost. It can still be done on request, but you will be responsible for the additional costs and wait time.
Zirconia crowns are becoming more common as the technology used to create them becomes more affordable. They also have some benefits regarding hot and cold over traditional crowns. Zirconia is not as hot/cold conductive. Eventually, they will likely replace other ceramics for their versatility, appearance, and hardiness. In fact, we make many of our crowns out of zirconia now, right here in our office in Beverly Hills! If you are curious about the most natural looking, strongest material available for your next crown, do not hesitate to ask Dr. Zadeh!
You can view before-and-after photos of porcelain crowns (caps) in our photo gallery.