Posts for tag: crowns
If you're in need of a crown to cover a damaged tooth, you have a lot of options. But before you choose, you need to know what you want. Would you be happy with an affordable, well-fitting crown that holds up well and allows you to chew comfortably? Or are you interested in a more expensive one that also provides the most attractive result?
Crowns have been a mainstay in dentistry for generations. The first were made of metals like gold or silver — durable and effective but not very attractive.
In time, a ceramic material known as dental porcelain began to make its appearance in crowns. Dental porcelain could be fashioned to resemble the color and texture of natural teeth, but it had a significant drawback: it could be brittle and subject to shattering under chewing pressure.
This problem was somewhat addressed with the innovation of a crown with a metal substructure fused with an outer layer of porcelain. These porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns combined the best advantages of both materials: strength and life-likeness. Up until around the mid-2000s, PFM made up over 80% of crowns.
But later porcelains continued to improve in strength, beginning in 1993 with the introduction of a Lucite-reinforced material. Newer formulations like lithium disilicate or zirconium oxide (now considered the strongest porcelain) have made all-porcelain crowns a viable option. Today, an estimated 60% of new crowns are all-porcelain.
From an appearance standpoint, all-porcelain crowns achieve the best results. The most realistic crown can be costly — not because of the material but the level of artistry required. A skilled dental technician will spend several hours, including brushing on as many as fifteen coats of liquid porcelain to the crown, to achieve the most life-like outcome. Your insurance plan, if you have one, will most likely not pay as high a percentage for that type of crown.
In the end, it's your decision as to what type of crown you wish to have. We'll help you weigh your options and decide what's best for you and your budget.
Which Cosmetic Dentistry Procedure Is Right for You?
Want a smile that radiates beauty? Cosmetic dentistry can give you the Hollywood smile you've always dreamed of. Cosmetic dentistry refers to any dental work that improves the appearance of a patient's teeth. Led by Dr. Bernard Pak, Kirkland Smiles Dental Care (located in Kirkland, WA) offers a full range of cosmetic dentistry services to the patients they serve. The following information can help you determine which type of cosmetic dentistry procedure is right for you.
Cosmetic Bonding- Composite resin bonding is a fast, minimally invasive option that can create a beautiful smile. Cosmetic bonding is the application of a tooth-colored composite resin using adhesives and a curing light. Bonding is routinely used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of decayed, chipped, and fractured teeth. Bonding is also to close gaps between teeth and improve the appearance of stained teeth.
Bridgework- You don't have to go through life with a missing tooth. If you have a missing tooth, a fixed bridge will allow you to smile with confidence. A dental bridge is a dental restoration that's used to replace one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made of two crowns and a fabricated tooth in the middle. A fixed dental bridge can last five to 15 years and even longer. With regular checkups and good oral hygiene, it's not unusual for the life span of a fixed bridge to be over 15 years.
Invisalign- Invisalign is the clear alternative to traditional braces for teens and adults. Invisalign corrects a wide variety of dental problems, including overbites, underbites, protruding teeth, cross bites, overcrowded teeth, gapped teeth, and crooked teeth. Using a series of aligner trays, Invisalign gradually moves your teeth toward the smile you've always wanted. It usually takes between 9 to 18 months to create a new smile using Invisalign.
Dental Crowns- Dental crowns can improve the appearance of your smile. A dental crown is a 'cap' that is designed to fit over the tooth so that it appears to be a natural tooth. A dental crown completely encases the visible portion of the tooth. Crowns restore the teeth to their normal size, shape, and function. The purpose of crowns is to make the teeth stronger or improve the way they look. Crowns can improve the look of chipped, cracked, discolored, or misshapen teeth.
Dental Implants- The absence of teeth can ruin a nice smile. Dental implants are the gold standard in the replacement of missing teeth. An implant is a small metal post that is inserted into the jawbone. It provides a strong foundation for a replacement tooth. The benefits of dental implants include improved appearance, improved speech, easier eating, improved comfort, and durability. Dental implants also prevent bone loss, teeth shifting, and facial sagging.
Porcelain Veneers- Veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made shells that are placed over the front part of the teeth. Porcelain veneers are used to restore teeth that are discolored, crooked, chipped, or cracked. It's also possible to fix gapped teeth through the use of porcelain veneers.
Teeth Whitening- In-office teeth whitening a revolutionary procedure that uses a strong whitening solution and chairside lamp to speed up the whitening process. In-office teeth whitening can give you a bright-white smile in less than 45 minutes. Dispensed by dentists, take-home teeth whitening kits involve filling a custom-fitted tray with whitening gel. Take-home teeth whitening kits provide fantastic results in one or two weeks of use.
Call Kirkland Smiles Dental Care at (425) 893-9500 right now to schedule a dental consultation in Kirkland, WA. Cosmetic dentistry can transform your appearance.
If your tooth sustains damage that compromises its structure — typically through decay or trauma — you have several options depending on the extent of the damage: One of them is a crown. This method saves the tooth and its root and completely conceals the visible portion of the tooth, or crown, under a natural-looking cap made to mimic as closely as possible the size, shape and color of the original tooth.
Crowns also hide imperfections in the original tooth like discoloration, chipping, fractures, excessive wear (from bruxism, or tooth grinding, for example), or abnormalities in the way the tooth formed. And they’re used following root canal treatments, which treat infected pulp at the center (canal) of a tooth root by removing the pulp and replacing it with an inert, rubber-like material.
Saving the natural tooth has long been the goal of dentistry because normal micromovements of the tooth root, which is suspended in its jawbone socket by elastic ligaments, stimulate the surrounding bone to rejuvenate. Without that stimulation, the bone continues to lose old cells, but no longer replaces them. Crowns are also designed to restore tooth function.
The function and location of the damaged tooth can determine what material the crown will be made of. If the damaged tooth is clearly visible when you smile, porcelain, the most realistic-looking material, is almost always used. If the tooth receives significant bite force, a stronger material is considered — either, a gold/porcelain combination, or a high-strength ceramic. If you are restoring a second molar, an all-gold crown may be considered.
With the advent of dental implants, saving a damaged tooth is no longer the only option for preserving the health of the bone surrounding the tooth root. The implant — a tiny biocompatible, titanium screw-like artificial root — is placed in the jawbone and is then capped with a natural-looking crown of course!
If you would like more information about dental crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Crowns & Bridgework.”
Dental crowns are an essential means for restoring damaged or unattractive teeth. A well-crafted crown not only functions well, it looks and blends seamlessly with the rest of the natural teeth.
Crowns are artificial caps that cover an entire visible tooth, often used for heavily decayed or damaged teeth or as added protection after a root canal treatment. Most crowns are produced by a dental lab, but some dentists are now creating them in-office with computer-based milling equipment. On the whole, the various crowns now available function adequately as teeth—but they can vary in their appearance quality.
In the early to mid 20th Century the all-metal crown was the standard; but while durable, it could be less than eye-pleasing. Although more life-like dental porcelain existed at the time, it tended to be brittle and could easily shatter under chewing stress.
Dentists then developed a crown that combined the strength of metal with the attractiveness of porcelain: the porcelain fused to metal or PFM crown. The PFM crown had a hollow, metal substructure that was cemented over the tooth. To this metal base was fused an outer shell of porcelain that gave the crown an attractive finish.
The PFM reigned as the most widely used crown until the mid 2000s. By then improved forms of porcelain reinforced with stronger materials like Lucite had made possible an all-ceramic crown. They’re now the most common crown used today, beautifully life-like yet durable without the need for a metal base.
All-ceramics may be the most common type of crown installed today, but past favorites’ metal and PFM are still available and sometimes used. So depending on the type and location of the tooth and your own expectations, there’s a right crown for you.
However, not all crowns even among all-ceramic have the same level of aesthetic quality or cost—the more life-like, the more expensive. If you have dental insurance, your plan’s benefits might be based on a utilitarian but less attractive crown. You may have to pay more out of pocket for the crown you and your dentist believe is best for you.
Whatever you choose, though, your modern dental crown will do an admirable, functional job. And it can certainly improve your natural tooth’s appearance.
You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:Â He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.
“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”
Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?
In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.
There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.Â Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.
If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”