Dental Crowns

Dental Crown Restoration in Redmond, WA

Crowns, or caps, are restorations that cover the entire tooth and are cemented.  They are used in situations where a large filling would quickly fail and/or to prevent a tooth from splitting.  This usually occurs when teeth are cracked, had a root canal, or have been heavily damaged from decay or trauma.

The procedure involves removing the outer part of the tooth and then sending an impression of the area to a laboratory. After a couple of weeks, the custom made crown is checked for accuracy and then cemented to the tooth.  During the lab time, the tooth is fitted with a temporary crown.

Types of Crowns

Types of crowns and their properties:

Gold crowns    

  • Mostly made of gold with other metals for strength.
  • Typically last the longest because they cannot break.
  • They are gold colored.
  • May be more expensive due to the cost of gold.
  • Compared to other crowns, they require less tooth removal.
  • They are softer than tooth structure (they will not wear down the tooth it chews against).

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM)

  • Has a gold/metal core with porcelain baked to the outside.
  • The color can be matched to the surrounding teeth.
  • Porcelain is harder than natural tooth structure (the tooth it chews against is more prone to wear).
  • Although relatively infrequent, the porcelain can fracture off of the metal base. Large breaks may require replacement of the crown.
  • Requires more tooth removal than other crowns.
  • Sometimes results in a dark line when the gums have receded.

All porcelain crowns

  • No metal at all, they are ceramic.
  • Looks the most like natural tooth.
  • Does not have a dark line when the gums recede.
  • Requires less tooth removal than a PFM.
  • Although newer materials are promising, they are still prone to fracturing. Because of this, they may not be a good option on load bearing back teeth or in people who grind.
  • These crowns can be bonded to the tooth and may be a good option when little tooth structure is remaining.

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