17250 N. 43rd Ave #3
Glendale, AZ 85308
Burros, David G D.D.S.
7493 N Oracle Rd # 217
Tucson, AZ, 85704-6366
Gutman, Jonathan M D.D.S.
3085 W Ina Rd # 101
Tucson, AZ, 85741-2382
Winterholler, Patrice H D.D.S.
315 E State Highway 260
Payson, AZ, 85541-4930
Endodontics, Allen D.D.S.
10585 N Tatum Blvd # D132
Paradise Valley, AZ, 85253-1073
People of a certain age sometimes find themselves in need of dental care involving dental crowns instead of a filling, or dental bridges to replace missing teeth. Understandably, in light of the present economy, many patients think first of the expense. But the fact remains that postponed care costs more in the long run, both financially and physically.
In the case of broken teeth, extensive decay or an old filling, a crown is intended to hold the remaining tooth structure together. After a root canal, enamel becomes especially brittle - another candidate for a crown.
A badly damaged tooth, left untreated, causes changes in the mouth that disrupt how the teeth work, chewing patterns, and jaw function. Normal eating habits may be inhibited. Tenderness forces the bite away from one side of the mouth and exerts undue pressure elsewhere. Why not just extract this troublesome tooth?
A missing tooth eventually spells oral disaster, meaning permanent changes to your bite. Because the mouth is dynamic, teeth on either side of an empty space will shift. The teeth next to them move, too. With all this movement, periodontal disease could invade soft tissues. Jaw misalignment, and the pain that goes with it, is likely. So tooth restoration to bolster neighboring teeth and keep the "architecture" of the mouth in good shape is the best course of treatment.
After fillings, crown and bridge work is our first line of defense against oral deterioration. This kind of dentistry brings a lot of satisfaction to both patient and dentist. A transformation happens. With the mouth functioning again, people feel better about themselves.
So call your cosmetic dentist today to find out how you can restore your mouth to total dental health. You'll look and feel better.
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