In the past, porcelain crowns were usually fused to a metal base to provide more strength, especially in the back teeth, where they needed to withstand the pressures of chewing. These porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns saved many a tooth, but they tended to look opaque and lifeless. And they almost always developed a tell-tale dark line as the gums pulled back from the metal base over time. Advances in ceramic materials and bonding techniques have made all-porcelain crowns available, meaning that you can have restorations that have the same translucent beauty of real teeth.
Advances in Porcelain Crowns
When porcelain crowns were fused to metal, the naturally transparent properties of the porcelain meant that they had to be thick and opaque enough to cover the dark underlying metal. But when new bonding techniques and ceramic materials came along, crowns could finally be thinner and more translucent. These all-porcelain crowns don’t ever produce a dark gum line. And now cosmetic dentists have several different ceramics to choose from, depending on the requirements of the situation.
Same-Day CEREC Crowns
In the past, it was always necessary to have your tooth prepared for a crown and wear a temporary crown while your porcelain crown was being created. Then you would return for a second appointment where the dentist would remove the temporary crown and fit you with the permanent one. Dr. Dennis has invested in CEREC technology to eliminate the need for a second appointment. Often referred to as same-day crowns, they are created by a computer-guided machine right in the office. So now you can walk out with your beautiful new restoration after just one visit.
Extra Training Required
The techniques required to provide a truly aesthetic porcelain crown are beyond those taught in dental school, where porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are still the treatment of choice. Natural teeth have many color variations, and learning how to create them in a porcelain crown takes years of practice. And the advanced bonding techniques and materials also require skills far beyond those taught in dental school. Dr. Dennis has been pursuing this learning through thousands of hours of advanced postgraduate study since she began to practice in 1982.
You can learn more by reading our CEREC crowns page. Then if you’d like to find out how porcelain crowns could improve the beauty and function of your smile, call our office or fill out our online request an appointment form, and we’ll be happy to call you.