Marian E Feducia, DDS
Samantha Gray-Dean, DMD
Our Patients Don't Need It!
A crown is a complete coverage restoration that fits over the entire visible portion of a tooth. For various reasons, a tooth may need to have a crown placed on it. Decay may be so extensive that a filling is not sufficient; part of the tooth may fracture off and a large portion of it must be replaced; and when teeth undergo root canals, they become more likely to break and must be crowned.
There are many different materials that may be used for a crown, depending on the situation; however, the basic procedure is the same.
What to Expect
Once it is determined that you need to have a crown placed, there are a few steps before final crown is delivered.
First Appointment: Prepping the Tooth
Numb the area where the crown is going to be
Take an initial impression for making the temporary
Reduce the tooth for the crown to fit over it
Take final impression to send to the lab
Place temporary crown on tooth until the final crown is finished.
Second Appointment: Delivering the Crown
Remove temporary and clean off tooth
Try on permanent crown
Make any necessary adjustments for the crown to fit correctly
Cement permanent crown
Types of Crowns
The type of material we select for a crown largely depends on where the crown is going to be placed. Each material has different strengths and weakness that make it better in some situations.
There's a reason we call it the "gold standard." Gold is an excellent dental restorative material. It's strong but kind to your surrounding teeth. It's biocompatible and can be easily adapted to fit a variety of needs. Of course, we understand that for a majority of patients, having a gold tooth in their smile is not ideal. We have several highly esthetic options for front teeth, but for teeth in the back, not seen in your smile, we highly recommend gold crowns.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
Traditionally, porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns were the only option for esthetic crowns. There are layers of porcelain placed over a metal core. While the porcelain can do a great job of matching your other teeth for a natural appearance, over time your gum may recede, leading to a dark line near your gums. This is the metal showing through. We still use PFMs for teeth that help support removable partial dentures, however, they are to longer our best esthetic option.
Zirconia is a strong, esthetic material, often referred to as a "tooth-colored metal." Like gold, it is an excellent material, but it can be matched to your other teeth for a natural look like porcelain. It is not the best material for highly esthetic areas; however, it is a great choice for teeth that need a strong crown that won't chip or break.
Porcelain Fused to Zirconia
Porcelain fused to zirconia (PFZ) crowns are currently the most esthetic option we have. They offer the strength of zirconia with the high esthetics of porcelain, and unlike PFMs, even with gum recession, there will never be a "dark line" around your gums. PFZs also allow us to block out any darkness from your natural tooth that may show through with the zirconia core. This is optimal for deep, or gray, stains that can't be eliminated though bleaching.