What are Porcelain Crowns?
The latest addition to the dental crown family, porcelain crowns offer the best of form and function. Due to the silica content in dental ceramic, porcelain crowns have a lifelike translucence that makes them reflect light just like real tooth enamel. Your Austin cosmetic dentist, Dr. Helen Ragsdale, works with highly skilled dental ceramists who can perfectly color-match your crown to blend in with your natural teeth. Strong and durable porcelain crowns offer structural support to damaged or at-risk teeth and resist stains, discolorations, and chips.
Aren’t Dental Crowns Made from Metal?
Traditionally, dental crowns have been constructed from two materials. Each crown material offers its own set of advantages and detractors. For instance:
- Metal Crowns: Usually made from an alloy of gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium, metal crowns are very durable and served as the material of choice for crowns until relatively recently. Unfortunately, metal crowns can crack as they age and, since they look nothing like real teeth, they can diminish the appearance of your smile. Furthermore, many people suffer from metal sensitivity and metal allergies. For these patients, metal crowns can cause more problems than they solve.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) Crowns: These crowns combine a metal substructure with a thin porcelain shell fused to the surface. They have the durability of metal and the lifelike esthetics of porcelain. However, because PFM crowns contain metal, they can cause adverse reactions in patients with metal sensitivity or metal allergies. While well-made PFM crowns look realistic at first, as the wearer ages, the gums can recede and reveal the metal substructure. This leaves a characteristic black or grey line at the gum line that can give your smile an unhealthy appearance.
Can Porcelain Crowns Improve the Health and Appearance of My Smile?
Dentists use crowns to protect a compromised tooth when a simple composite filling cannot adequately take care of a problem. Deep cavities, root canal therapy, and traumatic injury typically necessitate crown placement. Porcelain crowns make an ideal choice for preserving and restoring the health of your tooth for several reasons:
- Dental porcelain is hypoallergenic, meaning you will not experience any sensitivity or allergic reactions that many people face with metal-containing crowns.
- Porcelain crowns provide a precision fit that protects the remaining tooth structure from tooth decay and bacteria.
- Dental porcelain is strong and can withstand the constant pressure and impact endured by the molars while still offering an unparalleled esthetic appeal.
Conscientious dentists believe that the very best dental restorations should be totally indistinguishable from your natural teeth even as they restore the optimal health function of your mouth. With this belief in mind, your Austin cosmetic dentist places porcelain crowns that have the durability and incomparable translucence of healthy dental enamel. Not only do porcelain dental crowns look great, they fit in a way that improves gum health and reduces your risk of periodontal disease.
How Does My Austin Dentist Place a Porcelain Crown?
Placing a dental crown generally requires at least two visits to our 78759 dentist office. First, Dr. Ragsdale will prepare the affected tooth by removing any decay, if necessary, and gently shaping the enamel. Next, she will take accurate measurements of the tooth and the surrounding oral structures to ensure a precise fit. Dr. Ragsdale will then send your measurements to our lab, where skilled dental ceramic technicians will create a crown that looks and feels like a real tooth. Before you leave the office, Dr. Ragsdale will place a temporary crown to protect your tooth while you wait for your permanent. Once your porcelain crown returns from the lab, Dr. Ragsdale will check it for fit, make any needed adjustments, and bond the crown in place. With proper care, your beautiful porcelain crown should last for well over 10-15 years.
How Do I Care for My Porcelain Crown?
Since highly durable porcelain crowns function just like a natural tooth, you should care for them like your natural teeth. Follow the American Dental Association’s guidelines for at-home dental hygiene by brushing for two minutes twice a day and flossing once every day, preferably a night. You will want to consider switching to non-abrasive toothpaste, since abrasive toothpastes can wear down the surface of your crown and affect its appearance. Continue to see you Austin family dentist for regularly scheduled checkups and cleanings. Remember, the original tooth structure beneath the crown can still suffer from tooth decay, so your willingness to care for your teeth can help you keep your porcelain crown for a lifetime.
Can a Porcelain Crown Replace a Missing Tooth?
Sometimes, accidental damage, severe tooth decay, or advanced gum disease can cause a tooth to become loose, break beyond repair, or require an extraction. In cases like these, a porcelain crown makes an ideal replacement tooth. However, you will need something to hold that crown in place. A dental bridge provides one option for securing a porcelain crown. This dental prosthetic consists of two abutment crowns that rest on the natural teeth neighboring the missing one. These abutment crowns hold a ‘pontic’ crown between them. Dental bridges maintain proper spacing along the dental arch. Dental implants can also help replace a missing tooth. These tiny, screw-shaped devices are literally implanted into the jawbone and act as replacement tooth roots. Once the implant has integrated with the bone tissue, your Austin cosmetic dentist can top the implant with a beautiful porcelain crown. Not everyone qualifies for dental implant surgery, so talk to your dentist about which tooth replacement option will work best for you.
Interested in Porcelain Crowns in Austin?
Your Austin cosmetic dentist, Dr. Helen Ragsdale, can improve the health and beauty of your smile with porcelain crowns. Call our Austin dentist office at (512) 346-4690 to schedule an appointment. Austin Laser Dentistry proudly serves patients from Austin, Round Rock, and all surrounding communities.