A porcelain crown—often referred to as a “cap”—is a dental restoration that covers a severely damaged or decayed tooth from the gumline up. Crowns protect teeth and restore their function. Well-made crowns have shape, color, and translucence that mimic natural teeth. With today’s technology cosmetic dentists, like Dr. Siny Thomas of Sugar Land, offer durable dental crowns that look entirely natural.
When Are Crowns Used?
A dental crown restores a damaged tooth or replaces a missing tooth.
Protect and restore the function of a tooth that is badly decayed, worn, or broken
Build a bridge with a series of connected crowns to replace one or more missing teeth
Restore an implant
Attach it to the top of a dental implant to replace the portion of a tooth above the gumline
The Strength and Beauty of Today’s Dental Ceramics
Porcelain is a ceramic that can be made to appear like tooth structure so closely that it can be nearly impossible for anyone to tell that an expertly made porcelain crown isn’t a real tooth. The color, gloss, and translucence of tooth dentin and enamel can be mimicked exactly. Porcelain by itself isn’t strong enough to resist the tremendous forces of chewing that exist in the mouth. So, traditionally, porcelain crowns were made with a metal foundation to give them strength. But that foundation is an aesthetic compromise. The beautiful translucence of porcelain is blocked by the metal, and that metal lends a dark color to the margin at the gumline that can show.
Newer ceramics such as lithium disilicate and zirconia are strong enough to hold up under chewing pressures. When those ceramics are veneered with porcelain, they can produce a crown that is both very strong and highly aesthetic. Here are two types of crowns that Dr. Thomas uses:
If you need a crown for an anterior or premolar tooth, Dr. Thomas offers e.max, which has high-strength lithium disilicate as the foundation. Dr. Thomas’s master ceramist will finish the outer layer of the crown with porcelain. Your crown will have highly aesthetic color, translucence, and gloss that matches your natural teeth.
For molar teeth, Dr. Thomas uses zirconia for crowns and also for bridges, which gives you the maximum strength for a ceramic restoration. Where not as much strength is needed, that zirconia will be layered over with porcelain. The characteristics of zirconia include:
- Strength – Zirconia is so extraordinarily strong that it’s referred to as ceramic steel.
- Metal free – There is no risk of metal allergies or sensitivities.
- Versatility – Zirconia is available in a variety of translucencies to match the opacity or translucency of your natural teeth.
What’s the Process?
Whether you’re receiving individual crowns, a dental bridge, or an implant crown, Dr. Thomas will ensure it is beautiful and functions well.
Cover a severely damaged tooth
If a tooth is severely decayed, worn, or broken, Dr. Thomas will remove the damage and taper your natural tooth so that the crown will fit over it. He will bond the crown to your tooth to protect it and restore its function.
Build a dental bridge
Dr. Thomas’s ceramist will join a series of crowns to build a bridge that replaces one or more missing teeth. Replacement teeth are suspended in the middle, and the ends will be placed over natural teeth to anchor the bridge. Dr. Thomas will taper the anchor teeth and cement the bridge to them.
Restore a dental implant
If you receive a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, Dr. Thomas will attach an abutment, or connector, to the implant. He will attach a dental crown onto the abutment to replace the portion of your tooth that shows above the gumline.
How to Care for Your Crowns
Even the most durable crowns require daily care if you want them to last.
- Daily floss between your teeth and brush them at least twice daily.
- If you clench or grind your teeth, Dr. Thomas offers a custom nightguard to help protect your crowns while you sleep.
- Avoid chewing very hard foods or using your teeth to bite or open hard objects.
- Keep your appointments for dental cleanings and exams. Dr. Thomas will ensure your crowns are functioning well.
Dr. Thomas’s advanced training in cosmetic dentistry, occlusion, and bite will ensure you receive highly aesthetic crowns that function well. Call us to schedule an appointment for an exam or request an appointment online.