10660 West 143rd Street, Suite E
Orland Park, IL 60462
South River Dentistry
2301 Robious Station Circle
Chicago, IL, 60647
Dr. Paul M. Biegler, DMD
301 W Lincoln St
Belleville, IL, 62220-1901
Dr. JACK G WALZ D.D.S.
731 Sabrina Dr
East Peoria, IL, 61611-3581
1020 W Glen Flora Ave Ste 201
Waukegan, IL, 60085-1896
Most dentists will agree that the tooth crown is at the heart of general dentistry. They've all studied dental crowns in dental school, and some have done their best work replacing a missing tooth and saving the rest.
Research has given them the wherewithal to achieve virtually ideal restorations. They are natural looking, comfortable and stable in the moist environment of the mouth. Cosmetic dentistry professionals are better equipped now more than ever to build strong, long-lasting and cosmetically superior dental crowns.
A crown (or cap) is a restoration placed over broken teeth or a cracked tooth that cannot sustain a conventional filling. By covering the biting surfaces and sides of the tooth, a dental crown strengthens the damaged tooth by binding together the remaining structures. There are basically three kinds of full-crown restorations that can be placed by your cosmetic dentist, each with pros and cons, depending on your situation.
A gold crown or metal alloy crowns have the longest track record for durability, but some people object to the look of metal.
A full porcelain crown - and its new ceramic cousin - looks wonderful and fits well; however, porcelain crowns are usually best on front teeth where stress is not so great.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are our loyal work-horses for single-tooth restoration - they're very strong.
There are elements of finesse in the creation of any crown. The fit is the thing. The teeth must be prepared with opposing teeth in mind so a good bite won't go bad after the crown is placed. The fit must accommodate adjacent teeth, too. And the "margin," the part of the crown nearest the gum, must fit smoothly to protect the health of gum tissue.
And all this effort is to one end: to save a tooth.
Throughout history, dentists have tried to recreate the function and beauty of natural teeth when tooth structure has been lost. Restoring function used to be the main goal of a dentist because prior to the 1970's, dentistry lacked the proper technology to achieve fine esthetics as well as function. Dentists could only predictably offer patients a restoration that would simply "fill" the empty space. Today, dentistry has more advanced dental materials and newly developed techniques that allow dentists to offer artistically-recreated, natural-looking crowns and modern tooth bonding that would fool even the most critical eye.
Before you can understand how crowns and tooth bonding can mimic teeth you must understand why natural teeth appear as they do.
It is a common mistake for patients to think that their teeth are all one color. Your teeth are never just one color. They are a series of superimposed translucent layers of varying shades. Teeth also have different surface textures that reflect light in ways that affect the color of your teeth.
Your teeth are made up of three layers: pulp, dentin, and enamel. Each layer has a specific thickness, composition and structure. Additionally, the way light reflects off of or transluces through the layers gives you the color of your teeth. Using knowledge about the three layers of teeth allow dentists and dental technicians to recreate natural-looking dental crowns and tooth bonding.
Dental crown technicians are the true artisans in dentistry. Dentists begin the crown-making process by reducing the size of the tooth, making an impression of the reduced tooth, and selecting the proper shades of the tooth. This information is then transferred to the dental technician so a crown can be made.
Dental technicians blend science with artistic knowledge to recreate natural-looking teeth. Artistically, they use frame and reference, proportion and idealism, perspective and illusion as well as symmetry to mimic nature. Understanding the language of colors and using new dental materials and techniques has allowed the dentist to not only "fill" missing spaces but create cosmetic dentistry artwork from crowns and tooth bonding as well.
By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS