A porcelain crown is often called a “cap.” It protects a severely damaged or decayed tooth by covering the entire tooth, from the gumline to the biting surface.
Porcelain is a ceramic. An all-porcelain crown isn’t strong enough to withstand forces of biting and chewing. Back in the 1950s, technology was developed to bond porcelain to an underlying metal foundation for extra strength and support. But a metal foundation blocks the translucence and beauty of porcelain, and the metal will eventually show through your gumline as a dark line. Today’s high-strength ceramic crowns provide more beautiful results because they don’t need a metal foundation.
Today’s High-Strength Ceramic Crowns
Newer dental ceramics, including zirconia and lithium disilicate, are strong enough to absorb the pressures of chewing. Dr. Theriot and Dr. Redhead prefer zirconia because it is a little stronger and provides maximum strength for molar crowns and dental bridges. However, while zirconia is made in a variety of tooth-colored shades, the way it is manufactured doesn’t allow for the re-creation of subtle color variations within the crown. So for maximum aesthetics in the teeth that show when you smile, porcelain is baked over the zirconia.
- Strength – Zirconia is extraordinarily strong.
- Metal free – You’ll have virtually no risk of metal allergies or sensitivities.
- Aesthetics – An unattractive dark line from the metal won’t eventually show through at your gumline.
- Versatility – It’s available in a variety of tints and opacities to match your teeth.
The photos below are an example of how all-ceramic crowns can bring your smile to life in contrast with porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns.
What’s the Process?
Covering a severely damaged tooth
Dr. Theriot or Dr. Redhead will remove any decay and old filling material, taper your natural tooth, and bond a custom crown to it. The crown will protect your tooth and restore its function.
Building a dental bridge
A bridge can be used to replace a missing tooth. The teeth on either side of the missing one are prepared for crowns, and then a replacement tooth is made and suspended between the crowns. You can see a drawing of a dental bridge on our page that explains your options for replacing a missing tooth.
How to Take Care of Your Crowns
Like natural teeth, even durable crowns require care.
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily and floss daily.
- If you clench or grind your teeth, Dr. Theriot or Dr. Redhead can provide a custom mouthguard to protect your crowns while you’re asleep.
- Avoid using your teeth to bite or open hard objects.
- Keep your appointments for dental cleanings and exams to ensure your teeth are healthy and your crowns are functioning well.
If you’re interested in natural-looking crowns, call us to schedule an appointment for an exam or request an appointment online.