Tampa Dentist

Ceramic CrownsTampa, FL

Cracked, decayed, discolored and all around unsightly teeth can usually benefit from the placement of ceramic crowns. Crowns are among the most used procedures in modern dentistry. These ceramic tooth caps have both functional and cosmetic advantages, especially when compared with other types of dental crowns.

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Ceramic crowns, also known as porcelain crowns, serve the purpose of covering and protecting a damaged tooth. Porcelain crowns are dental restorations that are made entirely of a hard, glass-like material known as ceramic. Some ceramic crowns can be made from porcelain fused to metal alloy. However, all-ceramic crowns are usually preferred by patients since their appearance is almost indistinguishable from a natural tooth. Ceramic fused to metal crowns tend to have a more opaque appearance to cover up the metal underneath, distracting from the rest of your smile.

Metal alloy crowns have a metallic surface and core. Although these are the most durable and wear-resistant type of crown, they stand out in direct contrast from other teeth. Many patients tend to steer away from metal crowns for this reason.

Benefits of ceramic crowns

Ceramic crowns are considered the superior choice in tooth restoration for a number of reasons.

Resemblance to natural teeth

Ceramic is a unique material. The ability of these crowns to mimic the luster, color and gradient of transparency that teeth possess is unmatched by any other material. Natural teeth have a glossy surface due to the way light interacts with enamel. Since ceramic crowns are thick, they are able to imitate the light-behaving qualities of natural enamel.

Durable

When properly cared for, ceramic crowns can last decades. These caps are strong and are famously resistant to decay and chipping. With about the same hardness as natural teeth, ceramic crowns do not pose a threat to other teeth.

No dark lines

With porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, a unique problem arises. The ceramic only covers the very top part of the crown. If any gum recession occurs, a dark line may show just above the lowered gumline. This can be unsightly. All-ceramic crowns are fully made from tooth-colored porcelain, so they do not create this problem.

Biocompatibility

Unlike metal alloy crowns that contain small amounts of mercury, ceramic crowns are made from non-abrasive materials. Ceramic crowns do not cause any allergic reactions nor gum irritation.

Comfort

Ceramic crowns are known to fit better than metal crowns. Resistant to extreme temperatures, ceramic also does not warp (or expand and contract) when exposed to hot or cold. The tooth nerves and roots are comfortable at all times with a ceramic crown. Metal crowns are conductive and susceptible to temperature changes that can irritate the nerve within the tooth.

No adjustments are typically needed with ceramic crowns. They are custom created to the exact specifications of each patient. The personalized crown is matched to other teeth and creates a seamless fitting encasement for the damaged or discolored tooth.

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Why they are used

You might wonder when it is time to get a ceramic crown put in. Your cosmetic dentist will be able to consult with you to determine if your smile could benefit from ceramic crowns.

Tooth discoloration

Gray, deeply stained or yellowed teeth are excellent candidates for ceramic crowns. Teeth can turn gray due to repeated dental procedures or a root canal where the dentist did not place a crown in the first place.

Bad habits like smoking and using alcohol can also cause deep teeth staining that does not respond to whitening treatments. When irreversible staining occurs, ceramic crowns come to the rescue.

Dental implants

Ceramic crowns are also the most commonly used restoration to top a dental implant. These natural-looking artificial tooth caps are connected to the dental implant via an abutment or peg. Dental implants are used to replace the entire tooth when a tooth is extracted or falls out.

Misshapen teeth

Some teeth just have shapes that are out of the ordinary, distracting from the smile. Ceramic crowns are a great option for those who want to reshape, widen or add length to misshapen teeth.

Support broken or chipped teeth

Tiny cracks can form in teeth due to biting down on hard objects, eating crunchy foods, grinding or clenching teeth or even mouth injuries. When these cracks are not dealt with, teeth can break or chip. Chipped teeth are compromised, both structurally and cosmetically. Tooth decay can easily attack chipped teeth as well. Placing a ceramic crown over a cracked tooth can both support its structure, bringing back functionality and completing the smile.

The procedure

All oral health issues will need to be addressed and dealt with before a crown procedure. Gum disease will need to be cleared in order to move forward. Make sure to alert your dentist to any health issues that may affect successful crown placement. Once it is determined that you are a good candidate at the initial consultation appointment, the next appointment will be made.

First, the cosmetic dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area. This ensures the comfort of the patient throughout the procedure. Next, the dentist prepares the tooth by reshaping it using a dental drill. Removing the outer enamel of the tooth allows room for the ceramic crown to be placed.

Once the natural tooth is reshaped, a mold (known as an impression) is taken of the mouth. These impressions are sent off to the dental laboratory to create the custom crown. In most cases, a temporary crown will be placed while you wait for the permanent crown.

In a few weeks, the permanent crown is ready for placement. The temporary crown is removed, the area is cleaned and examined and the permanent crown is tested for fit. At last, when the fit is confirmed as comfortable and right, the permanent crown is cemented into place.

How to care for them

Treat your new ceramic crown as you would a natural tooth. Try not to use it to bite down on hard objects or to open packages. Avoid toothpicks, crunching on ice and grinding your teeth to ensure its longevity. Although ceramic is strong, it can still be damaged much like natural teeth. Ceramic crowns can give you the smile you have always wanted. Call our office today to find out if you are an ideal candidate for ceramic crown placement.