What are porcelain crowns?
All porcelain crowns are shells of ceramic, which are either bonded or cemented
to your natural teeth. Currently the brands we use in our office are Empress and
Procera. They are an ideal choice for improving the appearance of your teeth and
give you a bright and natural smile since they have no metal under the porcelain.
They have become increasingly popular over the past 10 years, and thousands have
been placed to strengthen broken down teeth, mask discoloration, brighten teeth,
and to improve a smile.
How are they different from other crowns?
Traditional crowns have a shell of ceramic that is fused to a high noble metal (usually
gold). The result is generally a “flat” look with a gray tone underneath
the porcelain. Often after the traditional crowns are placed, the metal edge around
the gum line becomes visible, resulting in a dark appearance of the tooth and gums.
The all porcelain crowns have no metal so that you get a more translucent, natural
look and no metal edges. They can also match the color of your natural teeth more
effectively than traditional crowns. The life expectancy for both types of crowns
is generally five to twenty years depending on the health of the tooth, and the
patient’s home care. Patients with periodontal disease or whose teeth are
severely broken down are not ideal candidates for all porcelain crowns and may need
crowns with additional metal support. Some teeth that have had root canal treatment
may also need traditional crowns.
It’s critical that you take an active role in the smile design and spend time
in the decision making and planning of your smile. While all porcelain crowns are
a wonderful way to enhance your smile, it is important to have realistic expectations.
If several teeth are involved, we may want to have a consultation in order for you
to feel comfortable with the final appearance. The consultation includes an evaluation
of the present conditions, a visual examination and sometimes x-rays and models.
We then take before photographs and use wax on the models to give you an idea of
what the final restorations will look like.
Preparation of teeth:
This appointment will take from one to three hours depending on how many teeth are
involved. Dr. Sayeg will remove any old restorations and shape the remaining teeth
to fit under the crowns.