Questions About Porcelain Crowns
Denver and Lakewood, Colorado
How are porcelain crowns made?
Once you and Dr. Greenhalgh have determined that you will have porcelain crowns, it will be done in two visits.
- Dr. Greenhalgh will remove all decay, damage, and bacteria from your tooth. He will use magnification and special dyes to make sure your tooth is completely clean before rebuilding it. If the damage has gone near the gum line, he may use a laser to properly clean that area as well. He will take digital photos and make an impression. Our on-site dental lab will then use this data to custom-craft your crown. You’ll leave with a temporary teeth crown which will look great and work well for the interim.
- Dr. Greenhalgh will remove the temporary tooth crown and again clean the tooth. Then he’ll verify the fit and alignment of your new crown. When you and he are satisfied, he will bond it permanently to the tooth and make sure your bite is properly balanced.
Why would I need a porcelain crown?
The most common reason a person needs a crown is that a tooth has become too decayed to be repaired with a filling. Too much enamel and other tooth tissue has been lost, so that the tooth is weakened and susceptible to splitting. An accident or trauma can also create a need for a crown, by cracking a tooth, perhaps breaking part of it off entirely.
In some cases, a tooth might be disfigured cosmetically by deep stains or banding which do not respond to tooth whitening. You could choose to have that corrected with a porcelain crown.
What anesthetic or sedation do you offer?
Dr. Greenhalgh uses several local anesthetics, depending on your particular needs. He first uses a topical gel to reduce sensation in the treatment area. We also offer nitrous oxide to help you relax and if you feel especially anxious we offer other types of oral relaxation. For those with fairly severe dental anxiety, sleep dentistry is available, where you will be sedated and monitored by an anesthesiologist throughout your visit. You can read more on our Easing Anxiety page.
How long will my porcelain crown last?
It can last from 5 to 25 years, depending upon how you care for it. It needs the same care you give your natural teeth, to prevent bacteria from spreading under the crown and causing further decay in the remaining tooth tissue. If you brush and floss daily, and come in for your regular check-ups and cleaning by our hygienist, your teeth crown will be safe from bacterial destruction and will serve you well for many years.
Are porcelain crowns better than gold crowns?
Porcelain crowns look more attractive than gold crowns, as they are virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Even crowns on back teeth can be visible when you laugh or yawn, and some people want no gold or other metal in their mouths at all. Porcelain crowns are durable and strong and can be done as part of a smile makeover, perhaps replacing unwanted gold crowns.
What are porcelain onlays?
When a tooth is not quite damaged enough to need a crown but needs more than just a filling, a porcelain onlay is a good option. Porcelain is harder than the white fillings used and can be bonded to the tooth with a tighter seal. We have our own ceramicist in our in-house dental lab who works with porcelain.
Dr. Greenhalgh will photograph your damaged tooth, clean out the damage and cavity, and then take an impression of it. With this data and other information from Dr. Greenhalgh, our ceramicist custom-crafts your porcelain onlay. Dr. Greenhalgh then positions it in the tooth area needing repair and bonds it to the tooth. This makes the tooth stronger and gives it a new chewing surface.
If you would like to schedule an teeth crown / tooth crown evaluation, please call or email our cosmetic dentist, Dr. Greenhalgh and we will be glad to schedule it for you. He can answer all of your porcelain crowns questions. Our office serves Denver and Lakewood, Colorado and surrounding areas.