Over 2000 years ago, the ancient Etruscans introduced the world to gold crowns. Part restorative dental technique, part clever methods for displaying one’s wealth, gold crowns served as the go-to dental restoration for centuries. In the mid-19th century, dentists began to create and place porcelain crowns, but it wasn’t until the early 20th century that a dentist named Dr. William Taggart introduced a crown manufacturing machine that could create detailed, custom-fitted crowns. Today, skilled prosthodontists – dentists who specialize in restoring and replacing teeth – can utilize a variety of materials to create the perfect dental crown for every patient. Dr. David Zelby, your experienced Atlanta dentist, discusses why dentists use crowns as well as the advantages and drawbacks of common crown materials.
How Do Dental Crowns Restore Your Oral Health?
A prosthodontist or general dentist may choose to place a crown for several reasons, such as:
- Providing support and structure for a tooth compromised by decay or damage.
- Restoring the proper height of a tooth that has been worn down by teeth grinding.
- Correcting severe, intrinsic stains that do not respond to teeth whitening systems.
- Holding a fixed dental bridge in place.
- Capping a dental implant to replace a missing tooth.
All-Porcelain Zirconia Crowns
By far the most popular material for dental crowns, dental porcelain provides both dentists and patients with a strong, versatile option. Skilled ceramists create porcelain crowns in a dental lab based on precise impressions your dentist takes in his office. According to Dr. Zelby, zirconia, an ultra-strong type of dental ceramic, has a number of advantages. For instance, zirconia crowns are chip-resistant, have no metal substructure and are therefore appropriate for patients with metal allergies, and offer an exceptionally lifelike translucence. However, zirconia crowns may not work for patients with a strong bite since the material can place excessive pressure on opposing teeth.
Other Types of Crowns
While porcelain crowns might be the dental crown material of choice, other options might provide a better solution for certain patients. Two other popular crown materials include:
1) Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns. Comprised of a metal substructure covered with a thin layer of dental porcelain, PFM crowns combine the durability of metal with the enhanced esthetics of porcelain. Unfortunately, as a patient ages their gums can recede and reveal a thin dark line of exposed metal. Porcelain collars can address this problem.
2) Gold crowns. While gold crowns certainly don’t look very natural and therefore do not make the best option for front teeth, they do offer several advantages for certain patients. People with a very strong bite or who suffer from bruxism (nighttime teeth grinding) may need the exceptional durability of gold. Gold will not place excess pressure on opposing teeth and does not require as much enamel preparation as other crown materials.
Beautiful Crowns with Your Atlanta Dentist
To learn more about how a dental crown can improve the health, beauty, and function of your smile, call Dr. David Zelby at (770) 955-0550. Dr. Zelby and the expert team at Aesthetic & Implant Dentistry of Atlanta provide a wide range of cosmetic dentistry services to help you achieve the best smile of your life. Our Atlanta dentist office proudly serves patients in Marietta, Smyrna, East Cobb, Buckhead, Vinings, and Metro Atlanta.