Among the patients he works with every day, Dr. David Eshom meets people who have teeth that have suffered damage due to severe tooth decay, gum disease, or facial trauma. While the doctor can repair some damaged teeth with polishing or dental bonding, many have received too much damage for these methods to prove effective. In these cases, the doctor turns to dental crowns as a solution. Dental crowns have several other uses, as well, and the doctor relies on them in many situations. When placing dental crowns for our patients, Dr. Eshom generally recommends all porcelain crowns. These crowns look the most lifelike, and will blend seamlessly with just about any smile.
About Dental Crowns
Dental crowns protect teeth that have suffered damage due to severe decay, fractures, and breaks from incurring further damage, while restoring a natural, healthy look to your smile.
Dr. Eshom uses crowns to replace large fillings in teeth that don’t have enough structure remaining to support a new filling, or to help support dental bridges for patients who have lost one or more teeth. The doctor often uses crowns to cover the site of a root canal procedure. When used in conjunction with a dental implant, a crown can even replace a missing tooth.
Technicians in an offsite dental lab fabricate these custom designed shells, creating them to achieve a permanent, snug fit over damaged teeth.
All Porcelain Dental Crowns vs. Other Types
Dental crowns may be created out of several different materials, but Dr. Eshom uses all porcelain crowns because they mimic the reflective properties and appearance of natural teeth.
Other material options for dental crowns include:
Metal Crowns – Once the gold standard, different types of metal were used for hundreds of years to create dental crowns. In fact, the first known dental crowns were created by the Etruscans way back in 700 B.C. out of gold. Over the centuries, crowns were constructed out of many different metals, including gold, platinum, and silver. These crowns provided great durability and could withstand most normal biting and chewing forces without breaking or chipping. Some dentists continue to use metal crowns liberally when repairing teeth in the back of the mouth, but you will rarely find a dentist who will use metal crowns to repair front teeth, unless the patient specifically requests it. Metal crowns do allow for more of the tooth’s original structure to remain than other crowns, but they prove inferior to all other materials aesthetically, as they cause dark spots to appear in an otherwise bright smile.
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns – PFM crowns have an aesthetically pleasing appearance and great durability, and have become one of the most popular materials for fashioning dental crowns. These crowns provide better structure and strength than most other materials, but they can cause opposing teeth to wear down more than other types of crowns. Dentists can match the shading of the porcelain to the patient’s natural tooth color, which makes the crown virtually indistinguishable from the natural teeth. Perhaps the biggest issue with PFM crowns, however, makes itself known as the patient ages. As we age, our gums tend to recede from the teeth. When this happens with a PFM crown, an unsightly dark line may become visible at the gum line where the metal and porcelain meet.
All Porcelain Crowns – As the most cosmetically pleasing of all dental crowns, porcelain crowns represent the most popular choice of restoration on the market. Dr. Eshom uses porcelain crowns exclusively, as they provide a more lifelike appearance than any other option. The porcelain used to fabricate these crowns, which the doctor can match to the color of the patient’s natural teeth, mimics the translucence and natural reflectivity of tooth enamel, and gives them a very natural appearance. Porcelain crowns do not pick up stains, so patients will not need to worry about whitening treatments to keep them looking clean and bright.
Placing a Traditional Dental Crown
The process of placing a porcelain dental crown will generally require two visits to our San Diego dental office. You will begin the first visit by having a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Eshom. The doctor will review your medical and dental history, as well as any medications you currently take, then he will perform a thorough examination of your mouth to ensure that no other issues need addressing before placing your crown.
The doctor will polish the damaged tooth and prepare it for placement of the crown by removing a minimal amount of enamel from the surface to make room for the thin shell. Once he has finished preparing the tooth, the doctor will make impressions of it and the rest of your mouth.
He will forward the impressions, along with any necessary shading information to match the crown to your natural teeth, to a reputable U.S.-based dental lab, where a certified lab technician will fabricate and tint your crown so it matches your natural teeth.
Dr. Eshom will provide you with a temporary crown to wear while you wait for the lab to create your permanent restoration. While wearing this temporary restoration, you will need to avoid hard or sticky foods that could dislodge the crown or cause it to break. You should do your best to keep chewing to the side of your mouth without the crown. The doctor also recommends sliding dental floss out from between your teeth, rather than lifting it out, to decrease the likelihood of accidentally pulling the crown out.
When your permanent crown arrives in our office, usually around two weeks later, you will return to our office to have it placed. Dr. Eshom will remove your temporary crown and replace it with the new permanent restoration, then check for a good fit and test for proper occlusion.
When he feels everything fits correctly, the doctor will use dental adhesive to permanently bond your new crown to the tooth. With proper care and regular dental visits, your ceramic crown can last up to 15 years before it needs replacing.
Placing a Crown to Restore a Dental Implant
If you have lost one or more teeth due to decay, gum disease, or facial trauma, Dr. Eshom will surgically place tiny posts made of titanium, called dental implants, in your jaw to replace the missing tooth roots. As the implants heal, they will fuse with the bone in your jaw, providing a sturdy anchor for a restoration. The doctor has several restoration options for these implants, including porcelain dental crowns.
This procedure typically requires two surgeries, each taking place in our office. The doctor will place the implants during the first surgery. He will then send his design of your crown to the offsite lab, where technicians will fabricate your crown while the implants heal.
Three to six months later, when the implants have fully healed, you will return to our office. The doctor will surgically expose the implants from underneath the gums and attach small connectors, called abutments to the head of each implant. He will then attach your new crown to the abutment, bonding it in place. Implant-supported dental crowns provide a very life-like restoration in both appearance and function.
Call Us Today
To learn more about porcelain dental crowns and the benefits they can provide to you, call our San Diego, CA, dental office today at (858) 455-9151 and schedule a consultation with Dr. Eshom.