Dental porcelain can be sculpted to closely replicate the look of natural tooth enamel, while providing desirable strength and resilience. Porcelain crowns are an excellent choice when recreating the form and function of a damaged tooth, because a crown basically replaces the entire external portion of the tooth down to the gum level. Crowns are not limited to simply replacing the original tooth, but can be designed to create an even better aesthetic appearance.

Porcelain crowns replace the exterior portion of a tooth to re-establish its original function and to create a natural appearance. Crowns are the treatment of choice in situations where tooth decay has destroyed most of the original tooth, after damage caused by a traumatic, such as an accident, or in cases of severe enamel erosion. They are also an option for people who grind and clench their teeth so much that the original structure of their teeth has been compromised.

Porcelain crowns can replicate the original tooth in function and can be designed to look like the original. When patients select a porcelain veneer for cosmetic reasons, they’re usually covering up the front portion of the tooth that has some aesthetic flaw. A porcelain crown is thicker than a veneer and, in some situations, this thickness is needed.

Partial crowns, or onlays, are a type of restoration or filling that covers one or more cusps (points). An inlay is similar to a filling but the work resides completely within the cusps on a tooth’s chewing surface. These restorations are much more conservative than crowns, and hard to distinguish from your natural tooth.

All-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type and may be more indicated for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns. All-porcelain crowns are a good choice for front teeth. At Bettendorf Dental, Dr. Christine Dahl can fit you with both all-porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.

While porcelain crowns are very durable, they do not have the flexibility of natural teeth, so avoiding certain foods may be necessary. Chronic tooth-grinders and jaw-clenchers will need to be fitted with a nighttime mouth guard to protect the porcelain from unnecessary and excessive pressure and use.

Porcelain crowns require routine brushing with non-abrasive toothpaste and regular flossing.

Patient Information Following Crowns

1. Following the first appointment for a crown(s), a temporary crown is usually placed on the tooth involved. This offers protection and maintains your correct bite while the custom restoration (crown or cap) is being made at the dental laboratory. Your custom crowns will be shaped and shaded much better than the temporary to match your other teeth in color, shape, and function.

2. Your anesthetic should wear off in 1 1/2 to 4 hours. You will need to come back for a second appointment, during which we will seat your crown(s). For most patients, anesthetic is not needed for this visit.

3. A temporary cement (glue) is used for easy removal of the temporary crown at your crown seating appointment. Therefore, it is subject to being dislodged. Take care in flossing around the temporary crown(s). Simply pull the floss out sideways rather than flicking it up, over the tooth. If your temporary crown(s) come off prior to your next appointment, chew some sugar free gum, then install enough of it inside your temporary crown to settle it back onto your tooth. Call us as soon as possible thereafter to recement the temporary crown, so it will stay in place until your crown seating appointment.

4. Sometimes crowns are fitted below the gum line. Therefore, you may have some discomfort for a few days due to the irritation of that area during the procedures. Sensitivity to cold or pressure is also possible.

5. After placement, it may take a few days or weeks to get used to the new crown(s). It is also common for new crowns to be sensitive to cold at first. If you feel that your bite is not correctly balanced, be sure to arrange an appointment for a simple adjustment.

6. Proper brushing and flossing are recommended to help you preserve your crown. Your home care efforts help protect that important area where the crown meets the root of the tooth. It is this area that is most vulnerable to decay or gum disease resulting from the bacteria in plaque.

We are conveniently located on Maplecrest Road across from Bettendorf High School, near the Genesis Medical Plaza, and one block east of 18th Street.