When the strength of a tooth becomes compromised as a result of excessive decay, a deep crack or a large chip, the tooth cannot support the necessary restorations. The tooth can then be extracted or it can be saved with a porcelain crown placed by Dr. Holbrook. A crown returns strength, appearance, and function to the tooth.
What Is A Porcelain Crown?
A crown is a dental prosthesis that fits over the entire tooth down to the gumline. It restores the original size and shape of the natural tooth, but most importantly, it returns strength and function.
Crowns were previously made of gold and were often referred to as “caps” for the way they fit over the top of the tooth. Those gold versions have been replaced for the most part by porcelain crowns. Crowns are fabricated in a dental lab to precisely fit over the prepared natural tooth. They are built to precisely match the shape and color of the original tooth. Because the crowned tooth needs to be the same size as the original natural tooth, the natural tooth must be shaped on all sides and the top to make room for the crown to overlay it.
Dr. Holbrook prefers porcelain for his crowns because porcelain provides superior strength and durability. Additionally, porcelain absorbs and reflects light closely resembling natural tooth enamel.
Am I a Candidate for A Porcelain Crown?
Dr. Holbrook places a crown on a tooth to save the tooth from extraction. The goal is to return strength and function. Crowns can also be used to cover cosmetic imperfections. Plus, they serve as anchors for bridges.
The following dental problems can be addressed with a porcelain crown:
• Severely decayed teeth
• Broken teeth
• Teeth with large fillings
• Severely stained teeth
• Misshapen teeth
• Teeth with fractured fillings
• Teeth that have had a root canal
• Severely worn down teeth
• Chipped teeth
Porcelain Crowns Before & After
Procedure Crown Procedure
It takes two appointments with Dr. Holbrook to have a crown placed on a tooth. The first appointment is all about preparing the tooth for the crown. Dr. Holbrook first removes any decay or other damage from the tooth, and the tooth is thoroughly cleaned. Next, the tooth is shaped down on all sides and on the top. This creates room for the crown to sit on the tooth and for the crowned tooth to be the same size as the original natural tooth. Once the tooth is downsized, impressions and photographs of your teeth are taken; these are sent to the dental lab for fabrication of your crown.
If you have some staining on your enamel, Dr. Holbrook may recommend whitening to return your enamel to your natural color before taking photos. This allows the lab to better match the crown color to your natural tooth color. Creating the crown usually takes about two weeks. In the meantime, Dr. Holbrook places a temporary crown onto your tooth. This protects the tooth and allows you to use it while your permanent crown is being made.
When your custom-made porcelain crown is finished, you return to Dr. Holbrook’s office. Dr. Holbrook then checks the crown for fit, function and color match with your adjacent teeth. He makes adjustments as needed. When you are both satisfied, he cements the crown onto your tooth permanently. You can then use the repaired tooth immediately. There is no recovery or waiting period.
Porcelain Crown Maintenance
Your beautiful new crown does not need any special attention. All it needs is twice-daily brushing and flossing, plus twice-yearly professional cleanings and exams with Dr. Holbrook.
How Long Do Porcelain Crowns Last?
Porcelain crowns are incredibly durable; they can last for decades. The lifespan of your crown is directly tied to your hygiene. The crown won’t decay, but the tooth under it can if you are lax with your hygiene. Bad dental habits such as chewing ice and biting your fingernails can shorten the life of your crown.
Porcelain Crown vs Porcelain Veneers
The major difference between these two restorations is the amount of tooth that the porcelain covers. A crown overlays the entire visible tooth, whereas a veneer covers only a portion of the tooth. Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are placed onto teeth to mask chips, serious staining, gaps, and the like. Veneers and crowns restore strength, function, and aesthetics for teeth. Dr. Holbrook determines the optimal restoration for the tooth after evaluating the need for aesthetics, function and structural reinforcement. He prefers the most conservative treatment.