It’s bad enough when teeth have cosmetic flaws, but when their health is also seriously compromised, it’s important to seek the right restorative treatment before further complications arise. At our Washington, D.C. office, we put your health and comfort first, utilizing the latest technology and dental practices to keep your smile strong.
A dental crown is one technique that is particularly effective for reinforcing and protecting a tooth that has suffered significant tissue loss. And through the use of porcelain, crowns can be crafted to accurately mimic the appearance and durability of natural enamel. Take a moment to examine all the benefits of this restoration, as offered by our cosmetic dentistry practice.
Restorative Benefits of Dental Crowns
When a tooth has been damaged or reduced in size, a restoration is needed to replace or cover lost tissue. In cases of smaller cavities, a filling or inlay may be used to restore the tooth; for smaller chips and cracks, porcelain veneers may be an adequate cosmetic technique. However, dental crowns are needed for teeth that have been particularly weakened and require more considerable reinforcement. Reasons for dental crowns include:
- Large cavities: When a large amount of tissue has been lost to decay, a crown may be necessary to fill the cavity and restore the tooth to its full size and shape.
- Physical injury: If a tooth has incurred a large chip or is otherwise substantially damaged from trauma, a dental crown may be the only reliable way to fix it.
- Root canal therapy: When infected roots must be cleaned out and treated, the procedure often leaves a tooth severely weakened. Therefore, dental crowns are usually necessary following root canal therapy.
- Other restorations: Dental crowns are used in conjunction with other restoration dentistry techniques to replace lost teeth, such as to support dental bridges or to cap dental implants.
The Protection of a Crown
When a dental crown is bonded over a tooth, it doesn’t just replace lost tissue - it protects the remaining tooth underneath it. Crowns are unique in their ability to take the brunt of stress and environment pressures normally exerted on teeth, thereby preventing further damage to the remaining tooth tissue. Similarly, crowns protect teeth from bacteria and abrasion, preserving them by essentially replacing the outer enamel.
The Durability of Porcelain
Porcelain is one of the longest lasting dental materials, often going 15 years or longer without the need for replacement. Because porcelain does not wear down easily and is highly stain resistant, it’s not unusual to see a crown retain its shape and color decades later. With the right care and hygiene, crowns can potentially last a lifetime.
Cosmetic Benefits of Porcelain Crowns
Porcelain is generally regarded as the highest quality material for matching the aesthetics of natural tooth tissue. By color matching porcelain to an individual patient’s smile, a dentist can ensure that the crown blends in with surrounding teeth. Furthermore, porcelain is semi-translucent and reflects light in a manner that is practically identical to the texture of enamel. Once a crown has been crafted and fitted over a tooth, it can be nearly impossible to distinguish from other teeth.
Because porcelain crowns are so effective at restoring a tooth’s shape and color, they can serve cosmetic purposes as well. Even when a tooth is healthy, some patients may opt for a crown if it suffers from a glaring imperfection that cannot be otherwise concealed, such as severe discoloration. With porcelain crowns, you can benefit from teeth that are straight, bright, and full for many years to come.
How Can Crowns Help You?
Porcelain crowns can be used to treat a range of problems, and can be customized to fit any tooth. For more information on our restorative and cosmetic techniques, and to learn which ones are right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Neil L. Starr.