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Porcelain Crowns: a Popular Cosmetic Dental Treatment

A crown is used to save a decayed or broken tooth, holding the damaged tooth together to prevent further damage. Crowns, also referred to as caps, are also commonly used to cover discolored or oddly shaped teeth, or they can be used to cover dental implants. Basically, a porcelain crown can improve a tooth’s appearance and make the tooth stronger. Crowns act the same as natural teeth, so after one has been placed, you must take care of it the same as you would your natural teeth by brushing and flossing regularly, and seeing your dentist for routine exams and cleanings.
smile makeover before after at birmingham dentist

How a Cosmetic Dentist Can Help With Porcelain Crowns

Crowns fit nestled over a damaged tooth. Custom-made, they’re built to last and designed to fit your smile. There are many conditions that rely on crowns to preserve natural teeth. A person may need a crown after they undergo certain types of dental treatments. A large filling or a root canal can weaken a natural tooth, making it vulnerable to cracks, chips, and breaks. In these situations, a crown is needed to improve the strength of the tooth and prevent further damage. 

How a Cosmetic Dentist Can Help With Correcting Minor Dental Imperfections

Dental recontouring can be used to correct issues such as:

  • Teeth that are too point
  • Uneven teeth
  • Slight overlaps
  • Tooth edges that are too flat
  • Minor bite problems
  • Small chips

What to Expect at Your Appointment

At a dental appointment, if a patient has not seen their dentist in over a year, they will require X-rays. If the dentist finds that one or more of the patient’s teeth are severely decayed and require root canals, crowns may be recommended. However, a root canal must be performed before a crown can be placed.

cosmetic smile makeover results

Initial Evaluation

As mentioned above, if it’s been a long time since you’ve been to the dentist, you will require X-rays and an exam. You may also receive a cleaning at this time. If your X-rays show that a tooth is severely decayed, cracked, or chipped, your dentist may recommend a crown.

Two additional appointments will be needed for this process. 

  • At your first appointment, your dentist will prepare your tooth for the crown. 
  • At the second appointment, the crown will be permanently placed. 

Before a tooth can be prepared for a crown, your dentist must remove any decay, and perform a root canal or a filling. Next, they will remove a little enamel on the tooth to accommodate the crown. During this time, you’ll receive anesthesia to numb the tooth before the trimming process begins. 

The next step is creating the mold. You must bite down on a tray filled with putty, for two to three minutes to get an impression of your teeth. This impression is then sent to a lab, where the porcelain crown will be created. The color of the porcelain will be selected to match the color of your other teeth. 

At the same appointment, a temporary crown will be placed to protect the prepared tooth from damage while you wait for your custom-made crown to be created. 


    Here are some common alternatives to porcelain crowns that your dentist may recommend 


    If the area that requires treatment is located at the cusp of the tooth, your dentist may recommend inlays.

    Inlays are commonly used when a simple filling will not suffice due to the size of the cavity. Inlays are created as a solid single piece used to fill the cavity and are cemented in place. 


    Onlays work similarly to inlays and are used when the damage is not only located on the cusp. Onlays are made to cover the top of a tooth to strengthen it. 


    Veneers are another alternative that works well for teeth in the front of the mouth, however, veneers are not often used for teeth that have significant damage, such as major cracks or decay. Instead, a veneer can be used if teeth are discolored, misshapen, or chipped. A crown is much stronger compared to a veneer and will last longer. 

    shades of white using dental veneers

    How Treatment Works – What to Expect

    The porcelain crown can take up to two weeks to fabricate. Once it’s ready, you’ll come in for the last appointment. Your dentist will place the crown, examine it, and have you bite down on articulation paper, to determine if it fits correctly and doesn’t negatively impact your bite. Once they’re certain the crown is a good fit, they will attach it using a bonding resin.

    Post-Treatment Care

    A crown should be treated the same as your regular teeth and will require proper oral care and regular cleanings. While the crown will not decay, the remaining portion of the tooth under the crown can.
    how veneer attaches to teeth

    Make an Appointment to Learn How Porcelain Crowns Can Help You

    The porcelain crown’s lifespan depends on how well you care for it. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, you can expect it to last for several years. If you have discolored or misshapen teeth, or you’ve put off having a root canal done, it’s time to schedule an appointment with Dr. Curry. If you’ve been hiding your smile all these years, porcelain crowns can provide the type of beautiful instant results that will have you smiling again. Contact Stuart Curry Dentistry today at (205) 972-3831 to schedule an exam or book an appointment online and let us help restore your smile and your confidence.

    Common Questions our Patients Have About Porcelain Crowns

    How Long Do Porcelain Crowns Last?

    Porcelain crowns can last 5 to 15 years if properly taken care of. How long a crown lasts can also depend on many other factors, including your oral hygiene habits, the wear, and tear placed on the crown, and whether you regularly see your dentist for checkups. 

    Is Porcelain Good for Crowns?

    While other materials, such as metal, are more durable than porcelain, porcelain is often chosen for cosmetic purposes, since the color of the porcelain used for the crown will match the patient’s surrounding teeth, providing a natural smile. 

    Do Crowns On Front Teeth Hurt?

    Getting a crown is not painful, thanks to the use of sedation and an anesthetic. Patients tend to only feel mild discomfort and soreness for a few hours after the crown has been placed. 

    Schedule Your Family's Dentist Appointment Today

    Your smile is our passion. Whether we are in your network or not, we will work with your insurance company to get you the best coverage possible. Schedule an appointment with our Birmingham family dental practice today for quality care!

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