Trendy clothes, stylish shoes and the latest celebrity-inspired haircut all make powerful statements when it comes to taking pride in your appearance. So does a pearly white smile. But smiles sometimes need some dental repairs before you're comfortable showcasing them. A porcelain crown is one option that can spruce up a not-so-healthy tooth and restore your confidence.
According to the American Dental Association (ADA), crowns serve multiple purposes. It's a device used to cover a tooth that's badly formed or discolored. A crown can also be used to prevent a weakened tooth from breaking or to help repair a broken tooth. It even acts as a cover for dental implants. Crowns come in four different styles:
- Ceramic (porcelain-based)
- Porcelain fused to metal
- Gold alloys
- Base metal alloys
Each crown type has pros and cons, and the type that best suits your mouth depends on your goal. If the desire is simply cosmetic, as in, restoring your smile to a natural-looking state, then porcelain is the way to go.
Porcelain-based ceramic crowns are ideal for restoring front teeth due to their ability to match the color of the adjacent existing teeth. Removing an additional portion of the tooth to be crowned might be necessary in order to solidly attach the crown. Porcelain fused to metal is secured to a metal structure for additional connective strength as opposed to a porcelain-based ceramic crown.
In addition to being an easy color match for remaining teeth, there are other advantages to porcelain crowns, notes the ADA. Porcelain-based ceramic is very resistant to wear, and porcelain fused to metal is very strong. Strength, cavity prevention and sealant ability all depend on how much of the original tooth remains, but generally, porcelain provides a great seal to guard against leakage and cavity prevention. One drawback is that even though porcelain is biocompatible with the human body, some patients may develop an allergy to the metal on which the porcelain is fused.
In a perfect world, everyone would have a naturally perfect smile. That isn't always the case. Sometimes fixing a smile requires a little man-made help from a device such as a porcelain crown. Nevertheless, proper oral care should be at the top of any healthy to-do list. Floss each day and use mouthwash to help rid the mouth of tiny food particles that get stuck in hard-to-reach spots. And use a brush such as the Colgate® 360°® Enamel Health™ Whitening Toothbrush to keep your teeth white by focusing on stain removal. Above all, don't forget to schedule regular dental checkups.