Porcelain Crowns in Santa Ana, CA
When a tooth becomes compromised to the point that there isn’t enough healthy tooth left to hold a filling, or if a tooth has a deep crack or a large chip, a porcelain crown can be a life preserver for the tooth. The crown allows the patient to keep the tooth, eliminating the need for extraction and replacement with an implant or bridge.
As the name suggests, a crown fits over the entire area of the tooth above the gum line, restoring the original size and shape of the tooth, and more importantly, giving it strength. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials: gold alloy, dental composite, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or all-porcelain. Dr. Fong prefers to place porcelain crowns in his Santa Ana practice.
What is a dental crown?
The purpose of a crown is to overlay the entire damaged tooth, returning strength and function to the tooth that would otherwise need extraction. Crowns are also used as abutments (anchors) for bridges, where they are placed on the healthy teeth on each side of the gap. Crowns can also be strictly aesthetic, covering a misshapen or otherwise cosmetically flawed tooth.
If you have older relatives, you may have heard them refer to their “caps,” the term formerly used for these prosthetics. In those days caps/crowns were usually made from gold alloy and they were quite visible when in a person’s mouth.
Dr. Fong has his crowns fabricated in a dental lab using high-grade dental porcelain. They are created from impressions of the patient’s tooth after a portion has been removed on all sides and the top to make room for the overlying crown.
Why are porcelain crowns better?
Dr. Fong likes to use high-grade dental porcelain for the crowns he places, as he believes these crowns have the perfect combination of strength and appearance. With proper care, a porcelain crown can last for decades, and because porcelain allows the light to reflect in a way that is similar to your natural tooth enamel they are aesthetically superior. Plus, fully porcelain crowns don’t include mercury or other toxic metals.
When is a porcelain crown needed?
The typical purpose of a crown is to restore the strength in a tooth, but crowns can be used for the following problems with teeth:
- Chipped teeth
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Teeth with large fillings
- Severely worn teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Severely discolored teeth
- Teeth that have had a root canal
- Teeth with fractured fillings
- The teeth on both sides of a bridge
How is a crown placed?
Having a crown placed by Dr. Fong takes two visits to our Santa Ana offices. During the first appointment, the tooth is prepared. First, Dr. Fong removes any decay and damaged material from the tooth. Next, the healthy exterior of the tooth is shaved down to make the tooth square and flat on top. This makes room for the crown to sit atop the tooth and occupy the same space as the original tooth. Plus, it creates five excellent bonding surfaces. We then take impressions and photographs of your teeth for the dental lab to use when creating your crown. Fabrication usually takes around two weeks, so Dr. Fong places a temporary crown on your tooth to protect it in the meantime. This is the end of your first appointment.
When your crown is finished, you return for your second appointment. First, your temporary crown is removed and your teeth are cleaned. Then Dr. Fong places your new custom crown and checks the fit and the color match with your adjacent teeth. If need be, he’ll adjust the underlying tooth or shave a bit from the crown. Once both of you are satisfied, the crown is cemented permanently onto your tooth and you’re finished. No recovery is needed, as you can eat normal foods as soon as you leave our offices.
How long will my porcelain crown last?
How long you have your porcelain crown is a factor of the quality of your home hygiene, any damaging habits you may have (such as chewing ice), and the health of the underlying tooth. Take good care of it and your porcelain crown can last for decades.
Do dental crowns require special care?
Dental crowns don’t need special treatment — simply brushing twice daily and flossing. The key to a crown is to make sure the tooth beneath it stays healthy, along with the surrounding gum tissue.
Is there an alternative to a dental crown?
That depends on the goal of the crown. If Dr. Fong needs to place the crown in order to keep the tooth from being extracted, there isn’t an alternative to a crown. Or if the crowns are to serve as anchors for a dental bridge, there isn’t an alternative.
But if the crown is placed for cosmetic reasons, say to change the shape of a misshapen tooth or to cover a chip or deep staining, then an alternative would be a porcelain veneer or Bioclear. Bioclear could be the best option here because Dr. Fong wouldn’t have to remove any enamel from the front of the tooth. Bioclear uses matrices that are placed around the tooth to act as molds for composite resin. The resin is heated slightly to make it liquid, and it is then poured into the matrices. The resin is then cured and the matrices removed. Dr. Fong then smoothes any rough areas and the resin is polished to look just like the natural tooth enamel. But now the tooth shape matches the adjacent teeth or the chip is covered.
Schedule a Consultation
Dr. Randy Fong proudly serves patients from Santa Ana, Irvine, Anaheim, Garden Grove, Orange CA and surrounding areas. To schedule an appointment for Porcelain Crowns, call us at 714-549-1903 today or fill out our contact form for more information.