A dental crown is used to “cap” a tooth that has broken, or has a large cavity that can’t be filled without losing the stability of the tooth. Dental crowns can also be used to improve the appearance of your teeth, in lieu of porcelain veneers.
Choose the Right Dentist
The importance of having an accredited cosmetic dentist do your dental crowns can not be overemphasized. If your general dentist is doing your dental crowns, they will likely select to use the materials they are comfortable with, which would probably be porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) dental crowns. In your very back teeth, PFM dental crowns can be perfectly fine, but it is impossible to achieve a natural look with teeth in the front of your mouth.
These pictures illustrate clearly the dramatic difference between a full set of porcelain-fused-to-metal versus all-porcelain crowns. Notice the dark line at the gumline in the picture on the left, as well as the jarring difference in opacity between the crowns and the natural teeth. The picture on the right is the same patient, with new, all-porcelain dental crowns in place.
So why would a dentist chose to use PFM dental crowns over all-porcelain dental crowns? Because placing all-porcelain dental crowns successfully requires extra training and exceptional skill with bonding technology. PFM crowns are simply cemented into place. All porcelain crowns must be bonded, and that requires a skill set that few dentists possess.
Dental crowns can be used to do a complete smile makeover, or to replace a single tooth, as pictured below. The patient in these pictures has a “peg lateral”, or a noticeably smaller left lateral incisor. The picture on the right depicts the new dental crown in place over the peg lateral. Notice how it matches the natural teeth exactly in size, color and opacity. Only a true artist could create this incredibly beautiful result.