If a tooth has been significantly reduced in size due to decay or injury, it is likely at risk of incurring further, irreparable damage. This is especially true if the roots have also been weakened, such as from a large cavity or advanced gum disease. Fortunately, the right treatment can keep a tooth protected from external forces, allowing patients to prolong or prevent tooth loss indefinitely.
Dental crowns are a common way of restoring teeth to health in such cases, and are thus a staple of our Philadelphia restorative dentistry practice. Moreover, the use of porcelain for crowns allows patients to maintain a naturally beautiful smile. Refer to the below information for a specific look at how porcelains crowns can help you.
When Is a Porcelain Crown Appropriate?
A crown is traditionally used when a tooth can no longer safely withstand the daily stress of biting and chewing on its own, and when it cannot afford to suffer from any additional damage. Teeth may be in such a weakened state for a number of reasons, including:
- Physical injury or trauma
- Large chips or cracks
- Advanced tooth decay
- Advanced gum disease
- Severe enamel erosion
- Root canal therapy
In some cases, such as with tooth decay, a filling or similar procedure may be performed first to restore as much tissue as possible. However, if the tooth’s health has been compromised, a crown will also be necessary in order to prevent tooth loss in the near future. When a problem is initially diagnosed, your dentist should be able to tell you whether a crown will likely be needed.
Health Benefits of Porcelain Crowns
The primary advantage to having a dental crown installed is its ability to protect your tooth. A crown essentially functions as a layer of artificial enamel, protecting the soft inner tissues such as dentin, which are integral to the tooth’s continued health. A crown therefore undergoes the regular stresses and pressures that the tooth would otherwise be exposed to, keeping it safe underneath. In this way, a crown also keeps bacteria away from the tooth, discouraging the growth of future decay.
Without a dental crown, a weakened tooth would likely experience continued decay or damage until it would need to be extracted and replaced. Although our practice offers a variety of tooth replacement procedures, most patients would agree that it’s preferable to preserve one’s teeth as long as possible. To this end, crowns help patients keep their natural smiles.
Aesthetic Benefits of Porcelain Crowns
Since a crown covers the entire visible portion of a tooth, patients may be initially concerned about its ability to blend in. However, porcelain offers some of the most realistic and attractive cosmetic qualities of all dental materials, including:
- Accurate color matching: Your porcelain crowns will be matched to the color of your smile, helping them become nearly indistinguishable from neighboring teeth.
- Precision crafting: Each crown is molded from impressions of your tooth and crafted through a computer-aided milling machine. When it is complete, it will appear just like any full, natural tooth.
- Stain resistance: With consistent hygiene and care, porcelain restorations are highly resistant to staining. Even after many years, your crowns will most likely retain their color from the day they were installed.
- Enamel-like texture: Of all dental materials, porcelain is best able to mimic the surface qualities of enamel, making it blend in seamlessly with the rest of your smile.
In addition to the visual qualities of porcelain, your crowns will provide the simple benefits of comfort and convenience – they will feel no different than the rest of your teeth, and will allow you to once again eat the foods you love without fear of losing a tooth.
Learn More about Porcelain Crowns
If you have recently damaged a tooth or you suspect you may be suffering from decay, visit our office for an exam and any necessary treatment. If a crown is indeed necessary, we will guide you through the process in an easy and efficient way. Contact us to learn more about dental crowns or to schedule your next appointment.