Today's porcelain crowns are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Dr. Tim Kelly prefers all-porcelain crowns, which are biocompatible. By placing same-day crowns, Dr. Kelly can restore a damaged tooth's appearance and function in just one visit to our office.
Porcelain crowns are a technique where we can mill a crown or fabricate a crown that is a solid porcelain block. Porcelain is basically glass with filler particles in it to give it its color. Years ago, patients had crowns that had a metal substructure and they were kind of gray, and you could see the metal and you could see the grayness. No one wanted those types of crowns on their front teeth, but that's old dentistry that's history.
So now new crowns we can do are usually undetectable that they are not your own tooth. They're very natural looking, they're chemically bonded to the tooth so they are very strong and there is no metal in them. They're all porcelain, they're very bio-compatible, and they're very natural and very healthy.
Crowns are necessary because sometimes a tooth has a large filling or a large cavity and over the years sometimes fillings get bigger and bigger and bigger, so a crown is really a structural component to the tooth to make it strong, so we can chew on it appropriately and protect it from fracturing, and also it beautifies the tooth.
The patients that are candidates for crowns are patients that maybe have had large fillings. A lot of patients in their 50s or 60s, they have had silver fillings on their teeth for years and so they're unattractive. I'm not a big proponent for silver. And when we take that old silver out and the decay out, the tooth is structurally weak, so in that situation a crown is most beneficial.
A crown is really a technique to give the tooth back its original shape or morphology, a beautiful appearance and strength to chew on, because sometimes over time a tooth gets worn out. It might have fractures in it, have a large silver filling in it, or an old filling or a big cavity, so the tooth structurally is weak. A patient could bite on something, maybe ice, a lot of people chew ice, and break a tooth and then you potentially could lose the tooth. So a crown is a technology that surrounds the whole tooth, kind of holding everything together. It's chemically bonded to the tooth so it's very strong and it's something that can last a lifetime. With today's technology we can fabricate a crown the same day, so we don't have to wait weeks to get it back from a commercial laboratory, so you can come in, have your tooth worked on and leave with your crown the same day.