Traditionally, crowns (caps) were comprised of gold or porcelain fused to gold (PFM). This solid combination is still used by Dr. Mahlin as a simple, cost effective option. More recently however, the introduction of fully ceramic Procera® crowns have changed the esthetic appearance of many smiles. Procera® crowns function in exactly the same way as traditional crowns, but their fully ceramic composition means that the restoration looks more natural.
Dental crowns are usually placed to strengthen an injured tooth. Most dental professionals agree that when possible, it is advantageous to restore a natural tooth rather than replace it with a prosthetic alternative. Procera® crowns are precision-engineered to create a beautiful fit and restore full functionality to the injured tooth.
Why might a Procera® crown be necessary?
Unlike the majority of the rest of the body, the teeth do not have extensive healing capabilities. Therefore, once the enamel (or surface) of the tooth is injured in some manner, it does not have the ability to heal itself. Dental crowns are placed to stabilize damaged teeth and prevent further damage. Enamel may be injured by trauma, bacterial infections or decay. Crowns are also often used to seal teeth after root canal therapy.
Procera® crowns have many advantages over the porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) alternative, including:
More exact color matching – Procera® crowns can be created in a color that will more accurately match the color of existing teeth. This means the restoration is virtually invisible to onlookers. However, Dr. Mahlin always warns his patients of realistic expectations. Placing a single crown on a front tooth amongst neighboring natural teeth, can be one of the most difficult challenges dentists encounter. When restoring multiple front teeth with crowns, the likelihood of the "perfect match" greatly increases.
No metal base – The traditional PFM crowns do look natural on top, but an unsightly metal band still exists near the base of the tooth. and can show with time if the gums recede. Procera® crowns completely eliminate the metal aspect. This lack of metal also allows for more translucency and therefore a more life-like look to the porcelain.
Biocompatibility – Procera® crowns have been engineered to encourage the gums to grow back around them. This means that eventually, full gum symmetry and stability is achieved.
Custom fitting – Highly skilled technicians create custom Procera® crowns to ensure that an exact fit is achieved.
What is involved in getting a Procera® crown?
Placing a crown is a common and straightforward procedure that Dr. Mahlin performs on a regular basis. X-rays and impressions are taken and a thorough examination is conducted prior to treatment. It is important for Dr. Mahlin to assess the health of adjacent teeth and gums, to ensure that there are no underlying issues. A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately three weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.
While the tooth is numb, Dr. Mahlin will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be secured with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
At the next appointment, the temporary crown is removed. The tooth is thoroughly cleansed. The permanent Procera® crown is affixed to the tooth using dental cement, and a beautiful smile is created.
If you have questions or concerns about Procera® crowns, Dr. Mahlin would be happy to discuss them with you.