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Dental Crowns: Which, Why, and When

April 11, 2017

What type of dental crowns are the best fit and why?

In this blog, we will address when dental crowns are needed and what are the options we have. Many of us were told by their dentist that they need a dental crown and were given all those different types for example zirconia, PFZ, Porcelain, PFM, and gold crowns.

When is a crown recommended?

Usually Dr. Layth and all the dentists that work along with his side here at our office in Arlington, VA recommend dental crowns to protect existing teeth or implants.

For existing teeth, a crown is recommended if: you have a large filling on the tooth, if a root canal has been done previously, if there is a crack in the tooth due to grinding, or if the tooth experience fluorosis. We place the crown in order to protect the tooth and prevent it from cracking and or breaking and then needing to be replaced by an implant or a bridge which is costly.

Based on where the crown is located in the mouth and what kind of habits the patient has that’s how we recommend from the various types of crowns.

For Molar teeth:

Molar teeth are teeth placed in the back, they are the teeth that you chew your food with. For most patients, we recommend zirconia crowns which are the highest today’s dental technology have to offer and this type far exceeds porcelain crowns. Zirconia crowns can uphold a lot more force than porcelain crowns which means it will last longer.

For patients that the cavities extend very deep in the tooth below the gums, we still recommend a PFM crown which is porcelain infused to noble metal (gold). To the naked eye, you don’t see any metal you only see the porcelain which is the shiny white color.

Gold crowns despite that they are still phenomenal in functionality they tend to be used very rarely and that is due to the aesthetics of the metal rather than functionality.

Dr. Layth is highly trained and experienced in prosthodontic dentistry, he taught and lectured in prosthodontics dental schools in the U.S. and outside it is his specialty and what he enjoys the most in dentistry. He perfects every crown he makes so that it lasts forever and you won’t ever have to replace.

For Anterior teeth:

Until a few years ago we were using all porcelain crowns to cap the front teeth. Porcelain crowns are very esthetic and beautiful in color and have that natural look. The cons to this type of crowns are that they tend to crack easier over time especially with the patients that like to clinch or grind and most of are guilty of that when we are stressed.

Recently with the advancements in zirconia technology, we started using PFZ which stands for Porcelain Fused to Zirconia. What is amazing about this is that it advanced the durability of anterior crowns while maintaining the esthetics of porcelain. Porcelain dental crowns tend to have a bit more shine and glow to it than zirconia and that’s why we still prefer it in the front teeth.

In summary, we highly recommend zirconia crowns rather than porcelain or PFM because they can uphold more forces while maintaining natural esthetics. If you have any questions or would like to acquire more information please feel free to contact Arlington Dental Excellence at (703) 962-4218

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