Porcelain or ceramic crowns have evolved considerably over the last decade with constantly improving technologies, materials and methods. Advances in materials science and dental adhesive technology have now made it possible to create metal-fee, beautiful and extremely strong and durable restorations.
Modern adhesive and material technology have provided some attractive alternatives to Porcelain Crowns relegating this procedure to a treatment choice of last resort.
What are porcelain crowns?
A crown, or cap, is a tooth-like shell bonded over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Used to strengthen, restore or improve the appearance of your natural tooth, a crown is fitted on the individual tooth much like a thimble over a finger. A crown is usually required when a tooth has been extensively weakened or restored, or when a tooth is cracked or broken. Crowns are usually placed on teeth where there is no longer sufficient tooth structure to support a filling.
Conventional crowns are made of porcelain, fused to a metal substructure. The latest advances in cosmetic dental materials have been made in the development of metal-free, ceramic crowns. The absence of metal allows for the construction of highly aesthetic, translucent crowns that imitate the characteristics of a natural tooth perfectly. Well constructed and accurately fitting crowns can last several years.
What are the benefits and how do they work?
Although traditional crowns have served as definitive restorations in the past, Dr Oliver has virtually abandoned their use in his practice in favour of more conservative treatment options such as bonded porcelain veneers and overlays as part of his Biomimetic philosophy of dental treatment.
By their very nature, crowns require a substantial reduction in tooth structure. The reality is that conventional crowns are not very-technically demanding procedures and are often favoured by dentists as an easier treatment solution to badly damaged teeth. Against this trend, Dr Oliver has incorporated innovative cutting-edge techniques in his daily practice as alternatives that are kinder to teeth, highly durable and highly aesthetic. Dr Oliver believes that the current standard of care is to use crowns only for the replacement of pre-existing failed crowns, for the restoration of dental implants or as a last resort for very badly damaged teeth.
Crowns require a substantial reduction of sound or healthy tooth structure (up to 75%) in order to achieve the required strength and retention for the restoration. Conversely, bonded porcelain restorations require minimal tooth reduction and are incredibly strong in very thin sections when bonded to the preserved tooth.
Dr Oliver meticulous approach involves careful and minimal preparation of the tooth and accurate impressions that are sent to his laboratory technician who handcrafts the porcelain crown on an extremely tough ceramic core. The appearance is completely natural. A temporary crown is placed in order to protect the tooth whilst the porcelain crown is fabricated, and approximately 2 weeks later, the final porcelain crown is tried in for a final assessment by Dr Oliver, who checks for a precision fit, and aesthetic harmony with the surrounding natural teeth. Only when Dr Oliver is satisfied, and upon the patient's approval, the crown(s) are carefully bonded in place to create naturally beautiful restored teeth.