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Crowns and Bridges

Why a crown?

A crown is used when your tooth is either severely broken down because of decay (cavities) or it is exhibiting signs of fracture (pain to chewing). A crown covers most if not all of your tooth. This serves to protect the remaining tooth. Without a crown your tooth is liable to fracture and require extraction (removal).

There are three basic material types used in the construction of your crown(s). The type used is dependent on several factors. These factors are where in your mouth the crown will be, how much stress will be placed on the crown and is it in a cosmetic zone?

Porcelain fused to metal (PFM)

this is the traditional crown which is has been used to restore teeth for many years. It is constructed of two materials, a gold alloy and porcelain. It's primary advantage is strength combined with esthetics. This is the most common type of crown placed. Usually, posterior (molar) bridges are constructed of this material. The porcelain is baked on at very high temperatures and thus gets bonded very intimately to the metal substructure leading to the increased strength.

All-Ceramic

It is this type of crown that has seen the most change over the years. New materials and methods have made this the treatment of choice for nearly all instances where a crown will be placed on a front tooth. Most of these are bonded into place which makes them "become" a part of your tooth.

Gold

A gold crown is used in instances where there may not be enough room for a traditional porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crown. This is usually the result of short teeth. It is also used in instances where the strength of gold is needed. It is a very durable restoration, but is not the most esthetic as you might imagine. There are several variations in design.

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Daniel L. Martinez, D.D.S. Copyright © 1997-2013

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