Getting a dental crown? What are your choices?

crown for broken tooth

A dental crown covers a tooth and restores it to its normal shape and
size. It can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there
isn’t enough natural tooth left. It can be used to attach a bridge,
protect a weak tooth from breaking, or restore one that’s already
broken. They are also used to cover dental implants.

If you are getting a crown (cap) with today’s technology you have 1 of 3 options.

  1. Full gold crown non-esthetic / strong but can wear down / small amount reduction needed .5-1mm 
  2. Porcelain fused to something (usually metal) esthetic / strong but can chip / medium reduction 1.5mm 
  3. All Ceramic esthetic (1) to highly esthetic (2)/
    very strong(1) to strong(2) / small(1) to medium(2) reduction .5-1.5mm
    *there are several types of ceramic ranging from ones with #1 qualities
    to #2 qualities

Traditionally the majority of crowns done in the U.S. were porcelain fused to
metal; with recent advances in materials many have now shifted to all
porcelain. We have moved on to doing a majority of the crowns in all ceramic; mostly with a material called lithium disilicate (e.max) OR yttrium-stabilized tetragonal zirconia polycrystal (Bruxzir).  An example of how Dr. Bauer treats a lower jaw today is found in the photo below = Bruxzir crowns on the molars and emax crowns everywhere else.

The farther back in your mouth a tooth is the more force that you put
on that tooth and the stronger it needs to be. If you are a grinder or a clencher you
will want a stronger crown. The main esthetic disadvantage of porcelain
to metal crowns is the black or dark line that shows along the gum line
as you get older and the gums recede a little. You can see this easily
on crown #2 and just barely on crown #3 in the picture below. Our fees are the same for all
types of crown.

Below is a picture of three of the more popular options available (the older crowns are not all-ceramic). This dentistry was done by Dr. Dettmer (1-3) and Dr. Bauer (4) over a
significant number of years. There are four crowns on these teeth. 1 full gold crown 2 and 3 are porcelain fused to metal and 4 is all-ceramic (emax).


We can recommend a type of crown for you but what you want is very
important to us. We will not let you make a choice that is
contra-indicated and/or has a high chance of failing/breaking in your
particular case.  Research on dental crown survival rates.  My own personal case study on dental wear.Bryan Bauer, DDS, FAGD
Wheaton General and Cosmetic Dentists

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