Porcelain Crowns (Caps)

Porcelain Dental Crowns For Broken Teeth in Glendora, San Dimas & La Verne

A crown (or cap) is a dental restoration or a cap that covers and cements onto a tooth. A dental crown covers a damaged tooth and restores it to its normal shape, size and function.

Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular, because they resemble your natural teeth.  They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they may eventually need to be replaced.  Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.

Before and After Porcelain Crowns

Smile transformation by Anna Lee DDS

before porcelain crowns glendora ca anna lee ddsafter porcelain dental crowns glendora ca anna lee dds


Why do I need a dental crown?

You may need a dental crown if you have the following:

  • A tooth that has a cavity that is too large for a filling
  • A tooth that is cracked, broken, chipped or worn down
  • A tooth that has root canal treatment since a dental crown protects the restored tooth. Read more here.
  • A tooth that is discolored, mal-aligned or badly shaped


Different Types of Dental Crowns

  1.  All-Ceramic Crowns
    • All Ceramic Crowns are fabricated entirely out of a glass-like compound such as porcelain.
    • Recommended for restoring front teeth due to color blending with the natural teeth
    • Made from two ceramic materials:
      • Lithium Disilicate
        • Lithium Disilicate restorations are most esthetic restorations in dentistry today. These restorations match the esthetic characteristics of natural teeth very closely.
        • Lithium disilicate restorations are good choices for single unit restorations, both anterior (front) and posterior (back) teeth 
      • Zirconia
        • Zirconia restorations are strong restorations but are not as esthetic as the lithium disilicate restorations
        • Early zirconia materials were opaque and white and were not recommended for front teeth restorations
        • Zirconia restorations are good choices for single unit restorations for the posterior (back) teeth 
  2. Porcelain-Fused to Metal Crowns (PFM)
    • Fabricated from both metal and porcelain.  Porcelain is fused to an underlying metal substructure to form the overall shape of the crown.
    • "Porcelain-Fused-to Metal Crowns are good choices for crowns and fixed bridges in the posterior area (molars)" - Dr. Anna Lee.
    • Advantages:
      • Esthetics
      • Strength
      • Durability
    • Disadvantages:
      • Porcelain on the crown may fracture - The porcelain portion of PFM Crowns may fracture or separate from its underlying metal substructure. Sometimes, replacement of a new crown may be needed
      • Dark lines along the crown margin - One of the esthetic complaints from patients is the dark line at the gingival margin of the crown. This usually occurs when the gum tissues recede and the metal margin of the crown shows
      • Lifeless appearance - The porcelain that is used to mask the metal substructure gives a lifeless or dull appearance of the crown This would be an important concern for front teeth crown restorations
      • May wear down opposing teeth - Dental studies have shown that the porcelain of PFM Crowns can rapidly wear opposing teeth when the porcelain becomes rough; the porcelain surface should be re-glazed or polished adequately after occlusal adjustment
  3. Metal Crowns
    • Fabricated entirely out of metal
    • Types of metal: High noble metal (precious), noble metal (semi-precious), non-noble metal (base)
    • Advantages:
      • Metal crowns have high strength and toughness that resist fracture and wear
      • Biocompatibility - The high noble metals are the most biocompatible to the gingival tissues
      • Good fit - Metal crowns provide a good seal against leakages
      • Longevity - Metal crowns last a long time
    • Disadvantages:
      • The metal colors, silver and gold, do not mimic the natural color of teeth
      • Teeth may be sensitive to hot and cold after crown cementation
      • Some people reported that they are allergic to non-noble alloy such as nickel
      • Noble and high noble metals cost more than the non-noble metals
    • All metal crowns are good choices for patients with strong bites and those with parafunctional habits, such as grinding or clenching


What is the process of getting a dental crown?

A dental crown is usually a two-visit treatment procedure.

First Visit

  • Local anesthetic is needed
  • Dr. Lee prepares the tooth by removing decay, existing filling material, and the chipped/broken tooth structure
  • A crown build up may be needed to strengthen and support remaining tooth structure
  • Dr. Lee will take a mold (dental impression) of the prepared tooth
  • Dr. Lee sends the dental impression to the laboratory for fabrication of the dental crown
  • The patient goes home with a temporary crown.  It is to protect the tooth and allows for normal eating and chewing.
  • It takes about 1-2 weeks for patients to receive their dental crown

Second Visit

  • Local anesthetics may be needed
  • Dr. Lee checks the margins of the crown
  • Dr. Lee will check and adjust the patient's occlusion/bite
  • Dr. Lee will cement the dental crown onto the tooth
  • Finally, Dr. Lee will provide the patient with post treatment instructions


How long is a dental crown supposed to last?

Generally, dental crowns last between five (5) and fifteen (15) years. The lifespan of a dental crown relies largely on the amount of stress it is exposed to and a person’s oral hygiene habits.  Patients who grind or clench their teeth have a higher chance of chipping or cracking the porcelain on the crown. Patients who are seen on a regular basis by their dentist tend to have longer lasting crowns, as potential problems are treated quickly and effectively.


How do I protect my dental crown? 

  • Avoid biting fingernails, chewing on ice, eating sticky or hard candy, or opening plastic packaging with your teeth/crowns. These habits can potentially lead to loosening crown restorations or fracturing the porcelain of the crown.
  • Practice good oral hygiene; brush 2x/day with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily, and use antibacterial mouthwash
  • Use interdental cleaners to help remove debris and interproximal dental plaque that collects between teeth. Interdental cleaners clean hard to reach tooth surfaces and reduce the susceptibility of gum disease and tooth decay. The rubber tips massage the gums and help to dislodge food particles and plaque.
  • Wear a custom-made night guard if you clench or grind your teeth
  • Visit the dentist for regular dental check-ups. Your dentist can use dental x-rays to assess the dental crown for any signs of decay, damages, or bite issues.

Treatment with porcelain dental crown for broken teeth is provided at Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Covina, West Covina, Diamond Bar, Claremont, Azusa, Walnut, Monrovia, Irwindale and Duarte

Dr. Anna Lee is a general & cosmetic dentist in Glendora, CA. If you have any questions about the types of crown restorations or need advice on keeping the crown restorations in your mouth as long as possible, please call for a consultation at 626-335-5114.


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