Porcelain and Ceramic Dental Crowns: An Introduction

Giving importance to good dental health is as important as the attention we give to our general physical health. Teeth, being exposed to a variety of bacteria, their health needs special attention. But how much ever we care for it, some bacteria finds a way to slip into our mouths and set up camp there. Cavities, tooth decay, dental abscess, and gingivitis are only a few of the many common oral problems that we face.

But there are many treatments today that can help us cure these issues. Of these, cavities are commonly seen both in adults as well as children. Effective treatment for cavities are fluoride treatments, tooth extractions, fillings, root canal treatment and dental crowns. Fluoride treatments are of two varieties. One is topical fluoride and the other is systemic fluoride treatment. The former is topically applied to the tooth enamel. Mouth rinses and toothpastes are some forms of topical fluoride treatments. Systemic fluorides are those that are consumed orally in the form of supplements.

Some decays are so severe that the tooth needs to be removed without any other choice. This is followed by dental implants to avoid teeth shifts. Root canal treatments are carried out when the decay reaches the inner pulp of the teeth. This is an effective treatment and can save the infected tooth without removing it. Lastly there are Dental Crowns.

Dental crown procedure is the one in which the entire natural crown of the teeth is replaced with a custom fitting. This happens by drilling away the infected area and a customized crown can be fit in its place. It may be made of many materials like gold or silver or even in porcelain and ceramic. Dental crowns give a vast range of solutions to a variety of dental issues. Dental crowns help in providing support to a tooth that has been damaged by dental caries. It provides high protection to weak and worn out teeth and prevents them from further damage. Root canal procedures also need dental crowns for the treated teeth. Crowns also prevent the breakage of teeth that has been severely cracked. Lasting from five to fifteen years, crowns are the best option for long term relief from tooth problems.

The most commonly used crown materials are Ceramic and Porcelain.

Porcelain and ceramic dental crowns

Ceramic Crowns vs Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain Crowns are a particular type of ceramic material crown that is the most often used in dental crowns. People when talking about their ceramic crowns forget that it is in face porcelain itself. But the main difference is, ceramic crown is porcelain while porcelain crown is actually the short form for Porcelain-fused-to-metal or PFM.

PFM dental crown is known for its extensive durability. The inside of the crown which covers the natural tooth has a thimble made of metal which holds on to the tooth whereas on the outside it appears polished giving a more aesthetic appeal.

The base of the PFM crown, being made of metal gives a much stronger hold and integrity of structure with almost less to no chance of fracture. All these traits make Porcelain-fused-to-metal the best standard of repair for bad teeth. PFM fitting requires at least two sittings with the dentist. The first sitting is to prepare the infected tooth with a restoration and to take a dental impression for the crown modelling. The second sitting is for the fixing of the crown.

Ceramic Crown, especially an all-ceramic crown is made from porcelain and other different ceramic materials. These ceramic materials help the crown to sit over the tooth and also to restore its appearance, shape, and structure. For those who suffer from any kind of metal allergies, ceramic crown fitting serves to be the best option.

For people whose appearance is their first priority, ceramic crown fitting can give them a look very close to the natural tooth. There is another pro in going for a ceramic crown. It is the extreme resistance to temperature change. All ceramic crowns are often the preferred choice for the frontal incisors and canines.

Ceramic crown or Porcelain crown, dental crowns can go a long way in restoring our smile and correct our small dental flaws. But they should also be given proper care like we give to the natural ones because they can still be damaged. There are some basic steps that we can take to make sure our dental crowns last for as long as possible.

Care about what you eat:

Munching on hard cookies, biting hard solid food can still cause cracks and breakage to the crowns like it happens to the natural tooth. Also sticky food can wrap around the crown and cause problems like loosening of the crown. So it is better that we be careful about the food we eat, especially after having a dental crown.

Brush and Floss regularly:

Though the crown fully engulfs the natural tooth, it is important to care for it by brushing and flossing regularly. This will prevent plaque formation in and around the crown and also will clean the gaps between teeth.

Get rid of those bad habits:

Used to biting your nails? Used your teeth as scissors to tear open a packet of chips? Do you grind your teeth when angry or stressed? It is time to stop. All these can chip off your teeth and loosen the crown. Even small bits of the gum you chew can get stuck between the crown and will give you a hard time. For those with grinding as a habit, use a guard that prevents you from doing so.

Regular visit to your Dentist:

Pay a visit to your dentist regularly and get your teeth and crowns cleaned. This will make sure that your teeth are healthy and your crowns are sitting properly in their place. Make sure you fix an appointment without any delay if you sense any pain or unease while chewing.

Keep in mind the four points given above that will give you the confidence to smile wide!