When a tooth becomes cracked or damaged beyond the capacity of a veneer or bonding to fix, a dental crown is used to protect and restore the tooth. If a tooth is missing or needs to be extracted, crowns are placed over the implant to create a false tooth. Metal crowns were common in the past, but just as fillings have become as inconspicuous as possible over the years, so have crowns. This is the reason why Dr. Parsa T. Zadeh offers the natural and pleasing looking option of porcelain and ceramic crowns.
Why Might I Need a Crown?
Porcelain and ceramic crowns take the place of a tooth with implants and are used to repair and protect damaged teeth. Cracked teeth, teeth that have undergone a root canal, or teeth that have been badly decayed or broken need to be protected with a dental crown. Some patients who have staining or darkness in their teeth 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. A good-quality crown will cost between $700 to $1500 dollars. Rarely, it will be as high as $2000, but this is only in special cases. Beware of anyone offering crowns for less than $600, as they may be of questionable quality or materials.
The most common uses are:
- Restoring your tooth or teeth after root canal therapy
- Preparing for a bridge fitting, or augmenting partial dentures or fixed bridges.
- Dental implants
- Restoring broken, cracked, severely discolored or worn teeth
- Extensive discoloration too severe for veneers or bleaching
How Are They 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 molds. That means no gross, uncomfortable or unpleasant tasting appliances put into your mouth for extended periods of time!
Next, we will prepare your tooth or teeth by sanding down the enamel to create a good bonding surface for your cap. Dr. Zadeh will then place the crown around the tooth or implant. During this process, he will make sure that the crown sits perfectly, feels comfortable and is secure in your mouth.
After your crown is placed, Dr. Zadeh will set up another appointment to make sure the crown is settling properly, as there can be minor shifts and changes in your mouth after placement. However, due to his level of expertise, changes are generally quick and minor, if they are needed at all.
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 properly match the tooth. This has become progressively less common, and minimal preparation is required for crowns now. Dr. Zadeh will attempt the most conservative treatment to protect as much of the healthy tooth as possible. As a result, only the smallest amount required of your tooth will be shaved and removed to set your cap.
The most common and popular format for molars and premolars, porcelain crowns can last from 10 to 15 years with proper care and are an extremely convenient way of preserving your teeth. They are also resilient and resistant to decay. It should be noted that smoking or not regularly cleaning your teeth can stain the porcelain and shorten the lifespan of the crown. Therefore, good dental hygiene and regular dentist cleanings are a necessity to get the most out of your crown and keep it 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.
Ceramic vs. Porcelain
When frontal teeth are involved, Dr. Zadeh chooses to use ceramic crowns for both aesthetic and functional reasons. All-ceramic crowns offer the most natural-looking tooth substitute available today and are the best choice for your front teeth, as the ceramic’s qualities and reactions to light closely match those of your natural teeth.
Dr. Zadeh recommends stronger porcelain crowns for your back teeth and the more natural-looking ceramic crowns for front teeth. This mixing-and-matching process is not unlike that of veneers. It is likely that each of your crowns will be made of slightly different materials to better match the appearance of natural teeth.
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 teeth. 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.
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 sensitivity over traditional crowns. Zirconia is not as temperature-conductive, so you will likely never notice any sensitivity with this material. 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!
Gold crowns are a common option and still offered by many dentists. Dr. Zadeh prefers not to use them because they are disruptive to your appearance and their cost. Gold caps can still be done on request, but you will be responsible for the additional costs and wait time.
You can view before-and-after photos of porcelain crowns (caps) in our photo gallery.
Dr. Zadeh and his team will be happy to discuss dental crowns (caps) in Beverly Hills, California, with you. Please call 310-273-2020 or email our appointment coordinator for a consultation with our dentist today.