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Crown Considerations

Dental CrownsWhen You’ll Need a Crown

For whatever reason, your tooth needs reinforcement and restoration. Perhaps it’s an unsightly color. Maybe you cracked it on a popcorn kernel—or it’s been weakened by several fillings. Maybe you’ve had root canal therapy. You’re probably going to need a replacement crown on that tooth. If two or more teeth are compromised, or there’s a gap where a tooth is missing, you’ll need the crown’s cousin—the bridge. Do I have choices? Definitely. There are four categories of crowns, or caps, as defined by their composition: the all gold crown, the porcelain covering gold crown, the porcelain covering non-precious metal crown, and the all-porcelain crown.

Up-Sides and Down-Sides

All-gold crown:
UP: Outstanding from a dental health standpoint. Durable, fits tightly to the tooth, well tolerated by gums.
DOWN: Not cosmetically acceptable to many patients. Gold virtually shouts “false tooth”!

Porcelain covering gold crown:
UP: A good compromise in terms of durability and natural appearance.
DOWN: Over many years they can cause wear on teeth they bite against.

Porcelain covering non-precious metal crown:
UP: A less-expensive combination of durability and natural appearance.
DOWN: The nickel content can cause metal allergies in some patients.

All-porcelain crowns:
UP: The superior cosmetic choice. Virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth.
DOWN: Tends not to be as durable as metal-containing alternatives. Also the most expensive choice.

Which goes Where?

Crown and bridge decisions are very personal ones that our team and the patient make together. In general, though, the more visible the tooth, the more critical the cosmetic appearance. An all-ceramic or porcelain crown gives the translucency and subtle coloration that duplicates a natural tooth. Further back in the mouth, durability becomes more important. And while today’s high-tech all-ceramic restorations are appropriate even for molars, many patients opt for ceramic fused to metal for both beauty and increased strength.

About William J. Black, DDS

William Black earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1988. He then went on to the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry, where he graduated in 1992. Following dental school, Dr. Black served in the Untied States Navy for 3 years as a dentist. He then settled in the Sacramento area where he opened his practice in 1996. Dr. Black is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), Academy of General Dentistry, and American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He is currently pursuing Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry and accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

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