At our holistic dental practice, located in sunny San Diego, we strive to offer the best of the best in dental technology. Crowns like a lot of other things in dentistry have come a long way over the last 10-20 years. There is a new class of porcelain crowns that are durable and aesthetically pleasing. In other words they look natural not artificial and they hold up under chewing pressure without breaking. Even as short as 5-10 years ago this was not the case. They have been out long enough to have withstood the test of time.
Porcelain crowns are created by fusing ceramics at high temperatures so that a hard substance is formed resembling tooth enamel. The newest generation of porcelain uses a computer generated substructure over which porcelain is baked to produce a very strong, natural looking restoration.
Most caps in the past were made with metal under the porcelain for reinforcement. This was because all porcelain crowns would eventually break due to chewing pressure. Now with new lab processes, it is possible to produce all-porcelain crowns that will hold up under the chewing pressure applied to back teeth. Therefore they provide an excellent choice, especially for patients who have concerns about dental metals. They are also a cosmetic, non-toxic solution for dental bridges or for any tooth restoration.
Veneers are ultra-thin sheets of porcelain or composite resin that are created for bonding to the surface of teeth. This procedure is especially useful in repairing or changing the appearance of damaged teeth. Veneers may be especially desirable on for cosmetic treatment of the front teeth. Another process associated with veneers called laminating, is fabricated by applying a thin layer of composite resin or porcelain to the surface of a tooth for aesthetic results.
Veneers are preferable to crowns for anterior (front) teeth because they allow more tooth structure to be conserved.