Crowns are a cosmetic restoration used to strengthen a tooth or improve its shape. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or partially destroyed by tooth decay.
Crowns are “cemented” onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
Traditionally, prosthodontic crowns were comprised of porcelain fused to metal. This solid combination is still used by many dental professionals as a simple, cost effective option. More recently however, the introduction of fully ceramic Procera® crowns have changed the aesthetic appearance of many smiles. Procera® crowns function in exactly the same way as traditional crowns, but their fully ceramic composition means that the restoration looks far more natural.
Dental crowns are usually placed to strengthen an injured tooth. All dental professionals agree that when possible, it is advantageous to restore a natural tooth rather than replace it with a prosthetic alternative. Procera® crowns are precision-engineered to create a beautiful fit and restore full functionality to the injured tooth.
Why might a Procera® crown be necessary?
Unlike the majority of the rest of the body, the teeth do not have extensive healing capabilities. Therefore, once the enamel (or surface) of the tooth is injured in some manner, it does not have the ability to heal itself. Dental crowns are placed to stabilize damaged teeth and permanently prevent the propagation of further damage. Enamel may be injured by trauma, bacterial infections or decay. Crowns are often used to seal teeth after root canal therapy.
Procera® crowns have many advantages over the porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) alternative, including:
Exact color matching – Procera® crowns can be created in a color that will perfectly match the color of existing teeth. This means the restoration is invisible to onlookers.
No metal base – The partially ceramic traditional crowns do look somewhat natural on top, but an unsightly metal band still exists near the base of the tooth. Procera® crowns completely eliminate the metal aspect.
Biocompatibility – Procera® crowns have been engineered to encourage the gums to grow back around them. This means that eventually, full gum symmetry and stability is achieved.
Custom fitting – Highly skilled technicians create custom Procera® crowns to ensure that a perfect fit is achieved.
What is involved in getting a Procera® crown?
Placing a crown is a common and straightforward procedure that dental professionals perform on a regular basis. X-rays and impressions are taken and a thorough examination is conducted prior to treatment. It is important for a dental professional to assess the health of adjacent teeth and gums, to ensure that there are no underlying issues.
A local anesthetic is administered while the tooth is being shaped. The shaping is necessary to ensure that the crown will fit snugly on the tooth. This process is done slowly and carefully to ensure that the soft tissue around the tooth is not damaged. When the tooth is fully prepared, the dental professional creates an accurate mold of the tooth and chooses the porcelain color. A temporary crown is placed while the custom Procera® crown is being created at the laboratory.
At the next appointment, the temporary crown is removed. The inner tooth is thoroughly cleansed to ensure that any bacteria are eliminated. The permanent Procera® crown is affixed to the tooth using luting cement, and a beautiful smile is created.
If you have questions or concerns about Procera® crowns, please contact our office.