Teeth that are cracked, broken down, or otherwise damaged can often be restored. Dental crowns placed by Dr. Arash Azarbal, our extensively trained cosmetic dentist, not only save your teeth, but give you a beautiful cosmetic result. His customized, natural-looking, crowns are strong and virtually identical to your natural teeth. Many people think that a tooth that is badly broken down or decayed must be extracted. But often it is possible to save the tooth and beautifully restore it with a porcelain, CEREC®, or other type of crown.
When Is a Dental Crown Necessary?
Dental crowns are needed when a tooth has a large area of decay that cannot be adequately treated with just a filling. A crown covers the entire chewing surface of the tooth and wraps around the sides of the tooth, extending to the gum line (thus rebuilding missing tooth structure and providing support for the remaining tooth structure).
Before dental bonding existed, crowns were made entirely of metal—often gold or a gold alloy—because this was the only material strong enough to withstand the constant wear and tear of biting and chewing. Advances in ceramic technology have produced a variety of materials that can withstand such pressures. Ceramics can be manipulated to match the natural whiteness and translucency of teeth.
Dental Crown Options
All-Ceramic (Porcelain) Crowns
Crowns made entirely of ceramic material are often referred to as “porcelain crowns.” These are often referred to as “porcelain crowns” because dental-grade porcelain is one of the most popular ceramic materials. These are the most cosmetically-appealing and aesthetic approach, because the all-porcelain materials allow it to be matched exactly to the patient’s existing teeth. They can be slightly more costly than other types of crowns, and if this is a concern we can help you find financing or select an alternative restoration that fits your budget. Dr. Azarbal often recommends placement of ceramic crowns on the most visible teeth.
Above are dental before-and-after pictures of one of Dr. Azarbal’s patients. Dr. Azarbal replaced his porcelain-fused-to metal-crown with an all-porcelain crown (right front), and a chipped and broken-down tooth (left front) was restored with a porcelain veneer.
These crowns have a metal foundation but are covered with a ceramic material. They provide some of the cosmetic benefit of all-ceramic crowns, but, because they must cover metal, they are opaque and lack the translucency of natural teeth. Over time, these crowns tend to show a dark line where the tooth meets the gum. They are a more affordable option and can still provide a cosmetic result when used on back teeth.
The traditional metal crowns are even stronger than porcelain-fused-to-metal and are a good choice for molars and back teeth that are subject to heavy chewing pressures and less visible than front teeth. Gold is the best material to use for these crowns. It can be made to fit precisely and won’t corrode or deteriorate, so they will last the longest of any crown.
More Information About Porcelain Dental Crowns
We have provided additional information about porcelain dental crowns below. If you would like to learn more about any type of dental crown, we encourage you to reach out to our friendly team for assistance.
What is a porcelain crown?
A porcelain crown is often referred to as a “cap.” A crown covers the entire tooth from the biting surface to the gumline. This effectively rebuilds the missing tooth structure and provides support for the remaining healthy tooth structure.
Can porcelain crowns look natural?
Originally, porcelain crowns were only fused to a metal foundation to give them strength. But with time, the metal foundation will show through your gumline as a dark line. Improvements in dental technology have produced durable, metal-free porcelain crowns.
Porcelain can be made to match the color and translucency of natural teeth. It can also be sculpted to match the characteristics of your teeth. Our dentist uses premium reinforced and strengthened porcelains such as e-max®, Lava®, and Zirconia all-ceramic crowns. These crowns are made from top-grade ceramic that is lifelike in color and translucency, yet very strong and durable. The results with these porcelain crowns are highly aesthetically appealing.
What is a CEREC® porcelain crown in one visit?
If you are in need of an immediate tooth restoration, Dr. Azarbal uses CEREC® technology, which enables him to provide you with a porcelain crown in one visit. Digital impressions of your teeth are made, and his in-office CEREC® milling machine will produce a beautiful porcelain crown in minutes. Learn more on our CEREC crowns web page.
What are the advantages of a Porcelain Crown?
- Light can pass through them, so the color and translucency can be manipulated to match your natural teeth.
- They are strong and durable.
- Unlike porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, an all-porcelain crown does not contain metal that will show through as a dark line beneath your gumline.
- Crowns with a metal foundation can cause sensitivity to heat and cold. All-porcelain crowns insulate your tooth against temperature changes.
Why choose porcelain crowns from a cosmetic dentist?
In the Before photo below, you can see a porcelain bridge on the patient’s four upper front teeth. The crowns look bulky, opaque, and are rounder than his natural teeth. Dr. Azarbal replaced the bridge to give the patient a better fit, and the new porcelain crowns beautifully match the shape, color, and translucency of his natural teeth.
Dr. Azarbal participates in many hours of training each year so that he can provide you with aesthetically pleasing dental restorations. He is also an adjunct faculty member of the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry of USC, where he teaches others how to make dental restorations as lifelike as possible. It is the skill and artistic eye of a cosmetic dentist like Dr. Azarbal that produce results similar to what you see pictured above—a beautiful, complimentary match to your natural teeth.