tooth wearing crownAlthough enamel is incredibly strong, time and the forces of teeth grinding (bruxism) can wear it down. Eventually, teeth can become structurally weakened to the point that they suffer serious damage. Such damage occurs as a crack, a chip, or even a break and often requires the placement of a dental crown to reinforce the tooth and restore its function. However, if you’re picturing a metal cap that is highly visible and unattractive, your view of dental crowns may be a bit outdated. Below, your Waco dentist, Dr. Corbet Locke, looks at the advances made in the field of dental crowns.

Metal Crowns

Several years ago, metal crowns were par for the course when it came to repairing a damaged and weakened tooth, and while metal crowns were and are still very sturdy, they offer poor cosmetic results. The glint of metal next to the soft gleam of a natural tooth stands out and clashes with an otherwise uniform appearance. Thus, because metal crowns are sufficiently sturdy, the focus of improving dental crowns has centered on improving them cosmetically.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns

PFM crowns retain an underlying structure that is made of metal. However the metal is covered by an outer coat of porcelain. This outer layer can be customized to mimic the appearance of nearby teeth in a patient’s mouth, significantly improving the cosmetic results offered by all-metal crowns. However, PFM crowns occasionally shows dark lines at their bases because of the presence of the underlying metal structure.

All-Ceramic Crowns

All-ceramic crowns do not contain any metal, and for that reason, all-porcelain crowns are generally used to repair teeth in the front of the mouth, where less pressure will be exerted on the crown. However, what they sacrifice in strength, they make up for in aesthetics as all-porcelain crowns offer restorations that look very realistic. Recently, however, a new kind of metal free crown, called a zirconia all-ceramic crown, has been developed. It has superior strength compared to other all-ceramic crowns and is often used for teeth in the back of the mouth.

Dental Crowns from Your Waco Dentist

Do you have a damaged tooth that could use some help? Dental crowns can reinforce and repair your tooth. Contact our 76172 dental office at 254-776-4888 to schedule an appointment or a consultation with your Waco cosmetic dentist, Dr. Locke. We serve patients from Waco, Woodway, McGregor, Hewitt, and surrounding communities.