Tooth decay is one of the biggest problems American adults face. An estimated 90% of adults have at least one tooth in some stage of decay. Early intervention may save an infected tooth, but oftentimes, patients will require porcelain crowns.
Porcelain crowns are one of the most common restorative dentistry tools, but that doesn’t mean they’re suitable for everyone. Our goal is to make sure our patients have all the information they need to make the best decision for their oral health care.
Today, we’re going to talk about the many uses and benefits of porcelain dental crowns and their potential drawbacks.
If you’re not sure if porcelain crowns are right for you, read on to discover more.
What Are Porcelain Crowns?
A crown (sometimes referred to as a dental cap) is a dental restoration tool. Each crown is uniquely crafted to fit the patient’s smile, taking on the natural shape of the tooth. It is then placed over a damaged tooth or affixed to a dental implant, taking the place of the original tooth.
Porcelain crowns are one of the best options when it comes to longevity and natural appearance. Unlike gold dental crowns, porcelain dental crowns can also mirror the color of surrounding teeth for a seamless look. They are used to:
- Hold a broken or cracked tooth in place
- Protect a tooth that has significant decay
- Protect a tooth after a significant procedure like a root canal
- Cover a dental implant
Unlike cosmetic dental tools like veneers, porcelain crowns serve both a protective and cosmetic purpose.
The Pros of Porcelain Crowns
As we mentioned earlier, porcelain crowns are one of the most commonly used dental restoration tools. For many patients, the pros outweigh the cons, and porcelain crowns are the best choice. Let’s take a look at some of the biggest benefits of porcelain dental crowns.
Patients often feel self-conscious about missing or damaged teeth. Everyone deserves to have a smile that they love to show off, and porcelain crowns can make that a reality.
Whether a porcelain crown is covering a decayed tooth or a dental implant, it will blend in perfectly with the rest of your teeth. In the event that the initial fit isn’t quite right, we can always go back and make adjustments.
Living with a damaged or decaying tooth can create a lot of pain. In some cases, patients experience pain when pressure is applied to the tooth, such as when they’re eating. In others, patients may experience ever-present pain that is disruptive to their daily lives.
We ensure a pain-free procedure when getting porcelain crowns. Once the crown is in place, most patients experience quick pain relief that lasts for years.
Improved Chewing and Speaking
A problem tooth in the back of the mouth tends to have a major impact on chewing. A problem tooth in the front of the mouth can change speech patterns and make talking difficult.
By replacing a damaged tooth with a porcelain crown that looks and feels natural, patients notice improvement in both arenas. Because crowns are fixed in place, they’re more effective than alternatives like removable bridges or dentures.
Porcelain crowns do require regular maintenance. However, you can treat them like your natural teeth. By brushing twice a day, flossing at least once a day, and getting regular dental cleanings, you can expect your porcelain crown to last for over a decade.
In the event that you need minor repairs, we can take care of them without having to remove and replace the porcelain crown. Only in the case of serious damage will we need to start from scratch.
The Cons of Porcelain Crowns
It’s important to understand both sides of any dental procedure. While some patients aren’t significantly impacted by the cons of porcelain crowns, others may need to consider an alternative solution. Let’s take a look at the potential downsides of porcelain crowns.
When a patient receives a dental implant, we start by removing the natural tooth completely. When a patient does not need a dental implant, some of the natural tooth remains.
To ensure a snug and natural fit, we file down the natural tooth. This reduces the amount of natural enamel. For the sake of your dental health and comfort, you will always need a crown to protect that sensitive tooth.
There are a few reasons that porcelain crowns may lead to increased sensitivity. For example, if the crown doesn’t fit well or the dental cement wears away, cold and hot food may come into contact with sensitive nerves. An over-large crown may rub against surrounding teeth, which can cause sensitivity in those areas.
The best dental crowns won’t cause this problem. If you notice sensitivity right away or over time, let us know so we can take a look.
Wear and Tear
Modern porcelain crowns have stain-resistant coatings that protect the porcelain below. However, patients who don’t brush and floss often, drink staining beverages like red wine or coffee, or smoke cigarettes may notice staining over time.
Porcelain crowns are very durable but they can sustain damage, not unlike a natural tooth. Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports and contact us right away if your crown sustains any damage like chips or cracks.
For some patients, the cost of dental crowns can be prohibitive. Porcelain crowns are one of the more expensive options but they are also longer-lasting. For a small percentage of patients, dental metal allergies rule out alternatives like gold crowns.
Dental insurance often covers a portion of dental crown costs. We can also discuss payment options to make the procedure accessible to you.
Call Albee Family Dental to Discuss Treatment Options
Each year, more patients receive porcelain crowns to protect and restore teeth. If you believe that you may benefit from porcelain crowns, the best thing to do is talk to your dentist.
Our team is proud to serve family members of all ages in Rochester. Schedule your appointment today to find out if you’re a good candidate for porcelain crowns.