Dental Caps and Crowns

Cosmetic Dentistry Fixes Cracked, Worn, Discolored, or Broken Teeth

For over 100 years, dentists have been using silver-mercury amalgam fillings to restore decayed or broken teeth. The only other alternative was gold, and that was too expensive for most folks.

Now there is a new and economical way to restore teeth using tooth-colored resin fillings known as composite or resin. The resin is made up of glass particles in a plastic matrix. Dr. Kneib bonds the putty-like material to the tooth with a high-intensity light or laser. This hardens the material and allows it to be shaped and polished for immediate use.

Once completed, the tooth has a natural appearance and is actually stronger than before due to the strength of the adhesive agent used to bond the resin to the tooth. Resin restorations not only look better, but they are stronger and last longer than the old silver-amalgam fillings. Resin restorations can range from $150 to $350 per tooth.

Tooth-Colored Restorations

Dentistry has restored teeth primarily with a material made of mercury and silver. It has done its job well, although we have had to live with its weaknesses. Those weaknesses consist of cracking teeth due to expansion of the material and restorations turning black as the silver in the material corrodes.

Now we have many ways to provide tooth-colored restorations at Kneib Dentistry. We can use adhesives to bond tooth parts that look and act like teeth. We can provide a bright, healthy, and strong smile with these exciting new techniques in adhesion dentistry.

Cosmetic Dental Crowns

Teeth are often restored with fillings of silver or composite plastics. These materials can often accomplish the aim of replacing the part of the tooth that has been lost for a strong and good-looking result.

However, there comes a point when the damage to the tooth has removed too much structure to hold a filling. The restoration must be done by a technique that will attach to the remaining tooth, stand up under heavier use, and meet more elaborate cosmetic requirements.

The crown is the dental restoration that can strengthen and restore the entire top of a tooth. The crown can also be part of the attachment of a fixed bridge for the replacement of teeth. The tooth is strengthened because it is covered from the outside with a casting of metal or ceramic that will wrap up and splint the tooth.

The chewing of the tooth can be improved because it can be reshaped to more efficiently match the opposing teeth. A crown can improve cosmetics by the use of modern ceramic processes that produce translucency and color that is more natural than has ever been possible.

A high quality porcelain crown that we fully recommend is Ivoclar Vivident's e.Max crown. The benefits of the product include high strength, high durability, and esthetic appeal all in one. For more information ask about it when you come to visit us.

Why have dental crowns?

The crown serves two important functions. First, it restores the appearance of your teeth and your face. If your tooth is severely decayed or cracked, the dentist will need to restore it prior to preparing a cap. Teeth also support the muscles in our faces, so anything less than a full tooth may affect the way you look.

Second, a crown will be the same size and shape as the natural tooth. As a result, it will keep your jaw and bite aligned. It will also make sure that other teeth don't shift locations or take on a greater share of the work of biting and chewing.

What are dental crowns made of?

At Kneib Dentistry, our dental crowns are most often made of gold or porcelain. Crowns also can be made of stainless steel, but those crowns are often temporary and not designed for long-term wear.

Porcelain crowns are usually built on a metal base, which fits snugly over the natural tooth. We will choose a porcelain shade that matches the color of your natural teeth.

Porcelain crowns usually are so carefully matched in color that they cannot be distinguished from your natural teeth. Many people choose porcelain crowns for their cosmetic appearance and the confidence it gives them.

New materials are now available that allow the use of "all-ceramic" crowns in some cases. They have a beautiful, life-like appearance. Short-term studies support their success, with long-term trials still ongoing.

Crowns also can be made of all gold. Some people prefer not to use gold because it stands out from the other teeth in appearance. At the same time, if the crown is on a back molar, some people feel the cosmetic issue is not a big one. At Kneib Dentistry, we will discuss the types of materials available if we recommend a crown.

Maintaining Your Dental Crowns

Once your crown is in place, make sure the area is well-brushed and that you floss below the gum line. While the crown protects your remaining tooth from further decay, you must protect the base of the crown from bacterial growth and gum disease.

Regularly brushing and flossing will ensure that your crown will be in place for years to come!