Porcelain Crowns

At Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implants, porcelain crowns save many smiles every year! If you have teeth that have been damaged, chipped, worn, or that are aesthetically compromised in some other way, a dental crown may be able to restore the look and function of your teeth. Crowns are specially designed, customized restorative prosthetics that are placed on top of damaged teeth. They restore not only the appearance of the teeth but also their functionality.

We use sophisticated materials to create dental crowns for our patients using porcelain materials that are both durable and functional. We use these materials because they’re extremely strong and yet also very natural-looking and comfortable in the mouth. These materials offer a number of practical benefits that benefit our patients’ overall dental health.

What is a porcelain crown?

Crowns are also sometimes referred to as “caps” because they completely cover damaged teeth and extend down to the gum line so they look like real, natural teeth. One of the biggest advantages of porcelain crowns is the fact that they look and feel like the patient’s natural teeth. Each crown is custom-made and designed to preserve the natural appearance of your smile. To achieve this goal, the dentist will begin the restorative process by taking impressions of the patient’s teeth. These impressions are then used to create a crown that will work well with the alignment of your jaw and that will prevent too much force from being transferred to the other teeth in your mouth.

How are crowns placed in the mouth?

To place a crown in the mouth, the dentist reshapes the tooth. Tooth decay or damaged areas of the tooth or teeth are removed at this time. During this process, the dentist also makes space for the crown to fit between the teeth.

At Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implants, we always make certain that the crown has a strong foundation in the mouth. Natural teeth have roots and tendons that go down into the jaw bone to keep them in place, but crowns must be solidly attached to other healthy teeth in the mouth in order to stay put and work as they’re supposed to. The dentist takes impressions of the teeth and uses them to create a restorative porcelain crown that will not only complement the patient’s bite but also stay in place for many years, if not a lifetime.

Restorative Benefits of Porcelain Crowns

Crowns are used to restore the appearance of the smile and to optimize the functionality of the patient’s teeth. When properly placed in the mouth at Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implants, a porcelain crown will actually enhance the patient’s dental health. Some of the benefits of porcelain crowns include:

  • Restoration of teeth that have decay or cavities that are too large to be filled.
  • Repair of cracked or damaged teeth.
  • Strengthening of teeth that are poorly rooted in the mouth or weak due to disease or decay.
  • Restoration of teeth that are proportionally small or eroded.
  • Restoration of the function of teeth that have had root canal treatment.
  • Using dental implants, crowns can be used to replace teeth that are missing.
  • Improvement of the appearance of severely misshapen or stained teeth.

Cosmetic Benefits of Porcelain Crowns

One of the primary purposes of crowns is to restore the appearance of a patient’s smile. Using porcelain that has been fused to metal, patients can not only improve their appearance but also the function of their teeth (see above). The color of the porcelain fittings can be matched to the color of the patient’s natural teeth. The dentist will find an exact match between the color of the natural teeth and the color of the porcelain crown.

Metal crowns may slowly start to show a gray tint as the coloring starts to fade through the years. In contrast, the porcelain fittings will never change color. They’ll continue to look like the patient’s natural teeth after many years of wear and tear. Below are the primary cosmetic benefits of porcelain crowns:

  • Porcelain crowns look natural and blend with the patient’s real teeth. At Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implants we recommend the use of porcelain crowns, but they can be made of many different types of materials including stainless steel, resin, gold, or ceramic. Porcelain is the best type of material to use for crowns because this type of material retains its natural-looking appearance in the mouth and it also does not cause abrasiveness to nearby teeth.
  • Porcelain is color-matched so that it looks exactly like the rest of the teeth in the mouth.
  • Shape and texture matching is also important. Porcelain crowns are customized to blend with the shape and texture of the patient’s own teeth.
  • Porcelain is stain-resistant which means that they will tend to stay white even when you enjoy your favorite drinks and foods.
  • They’re beautiful! Porcelain crowns not only improve the function of the teeth, but they also perfect the patient’s smile.

Functional Benefits of Porcelain Crowns

All porcelain crowns offer some notable oral health benefits. The most obvious is the fact that teeth do not necessarily need to be removed in order to place these restorative prosthetics in the mouth. At Washington State Prosthodontics and Dental Implants, we always preserve as much of the natural tooth structure as possible to place the restoration in the mouth while still creating a strong foundation for the prosthetic. By preserving the natural tooth structure, the functionality of teeth is also preserved. Below are some of the most compelling functional benefits of porcelain crowns:

  • Porcelain is extremely strong. This type of material can last 15 years or longer.
  • Porcelain can protect damaged teeth from additional damage or decay. A porcelain crown can help patients preserve the healthy parts of teeth.
  • Sometimes, porcelain crowns can reduce the patient’s dental sensitivity.
  • Unlike some of the other materials used to make crowns, porcelain is very low maintenance. Simply brush and floss to keep your dental crown looking good.
  • It’s extremely rare for patients to experience complications from porcelain crowns.
  • Porcelain crowns are exceptionally comfortable. They can be molded into any size or shape to fit the patient’s mouth perfectly. Most patients readily forget that they’re wearing a crown within days after the procedure is completed.