222 South Summit Avenue Ste 2
Prescott, AZ 86303
282 E River Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85704
17250 N. 43rd Ave #3
Glendale, AZ 85308
Naghshbandi, Jafar D.D.S.
706 E Bell Rd # 106
Phoenix, AZ, 85022-6641
East Valley Endodontics
3048 E Baseline Rd # 111
Mesa, AZ, 85204-7287
Smith, Christopher D.D.S.
1658 Oaklawn Dr # B
Prescott, AZ, 86305-1110
Peterson, Jonathan R D.D.S.
2220 W Southern Ave # 102
Mesa, AZ, 85202-4706
The most common complaint associated with crowns is that they look "opaque," "lifeless," and "fake" compared to natural teeth. Do you need an expensive dental makeover to solve the problem? No!
The appearance of a crown is affected by many factors, but ultimately, the final result is determined by how the crown reacts with light. Natural teeth have a high degree of translucency, which means a certain amount of light passes through the tooth. The result of this is that the tooth appears to have depth and vitality.
Traditionally, crowns are made of two materials:
Generally, it is this type of crown that can appear opaque. The reason for this is that while porcelain is very translucent and lets light travel easily through it, no light can pass through the underlying metal. In order to prevent the metal color from showing through the porcelain, which would make the crown seem dark or gray, the metal has to be "masked out" with an opaquing material. It is this masking or opaquing that can affect the final appearance, giving rise to the opaque or lifeless look.
The answer is no. One thing that can be done to improve the appearance is to remove the metal margin that goes around the crown. By keeping the metal inside the crown and having porcelain at the junction between the crown and the tooth, the "black line" appearance at the gum line can be eliminated, thereby increasing the translucency in this area. It also is necessary to have an adequate thickness of porcelain over the metal substructure. If the metal that has been masked out is too close to the outer surface of the crown, the appearance of depth is lost. What it mostly comes down to, however, is the skill level and artistry of the technician who is making the crown. When done correctly, porcelain crowns with a metal substructure can give you the best of both worlds without the expense of an extreme makeover. They can be made to exactly match your other teeth while still appearing lifelike, and since there is metal in it, they have increased strength.
Today, there are dental crowns available that do not require a metal substructure and are made of only porcelain. Depending on the specific type, they get their strength either from the bond to the remaining tooth structure or from a dense tooth colored substructure. Since there is no metal, these types of dental crowns allow more light to pass through, which enables them to have more depth and vitality, much like natural teeth. So why isn't this type of crown used all the time? The main reason is that they are not as strong as crowns with a metal substructure. So, if a person grinds their teeth, these crowns have a greater risk of fracture. Another reason why an all-ceramic dental crown cannot be used in all situations is if the underlying tooth structure itself is dark. Very dark teeth are difficult to mask with these types of crowns because of their translucency. In these instances, the dark color may show through the crown. So, for situations where a lot of force will be placed on the teeth (such as grinding habits) or if a tooth is really dark, a well-made porcelain crown with a metal substructure may be a better restoration.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD
n order to maintain a healthy smile, you have to know what types of things are damaging to the teeth. Identifying and eliminating bad oral habits is the key to retaining a great smile for many years. Sometimes we are not aware that we are harming the health of our teeth. Do you:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are in danger of causing a detrimental effect on your new perfect teeth and smile.
How Detrimental Are the Effects? No one can predict the exact effects that the habit will have on your newly perfect teeth, however, the longer the duration of the habit, the greater negative effect it will have on the longevity of your smile enhancements.
The first step to eliminating a bad habit is to identify and acknowledge that you have one. If your habit is crunching ice, you must alter or eliminate it from your day-to-day routine.
Other habits are harder to break like grinding your teeth. Grinding the teeth is generally an involuntary action and usually occurs when asleep. Because the habit is difficult to break, a plastic night guard is the best solution to prevent excessive wear of your teeth.
A night guard is a clear plastic mouthpiece that is custom-fitted to snap over your teeth, much like an athletic mouth guard. The night guard is designed so your teeth grind on the plastic, not your teeth. The night guard will wear out, but your teeth will not.
Do not neglect your teeth, especially if you have had esthetic enhancements. Your enhancements will not last forever, so in order to preserve your perfect teeth, have regular dental check-ups and do your best to eliminate bad oral habits.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS