Dental Crowns San Antonio

What to Know

A crown, as a form of restorative dentistry, is a cap which encircles a tooth or dental implant. Aside from it being a component in a dental implant (see our dental implant page), a crown is employed for any of the following reasons:

  • restore a broken or fractured tooth
  • a severely worn tooth
  • cover and support a tooth w/ a large filling
  • hold a dental bridge in place
  • cover a misshapened or severely discolored tooth
  • improve strength and appearance

Preparing a tooth for a dental crown requires removing a portion of the tooth down to the gum line. There are numerous aspects of this removal process that are quite technical in description and detail. We provide this link to the reader who has an interest in these finer aspects.

The placement of a crown usually requires two visits. On the initial visit the tooth is reduced in size, typically around the perimeter, in order to accommodate the crown. The removal process extends to eliminating decay and damage to the tooth.

An impression model is made that is sent to a laboratory which then fabricates the crown. In the process Dr. Spalten matches the color of the porcelain with the existing teeth using a color guide. A temporary crown is placed and cemented to protect and cover the prepared tooth.

There are several types of crowns and each has one or more advantages and disadvantages. All metal is the most durable but their principle drawback is color which is non-white and therefore undesirable for most patients.

Porcelain fused to metal combines strength with the color of teeth but it typically has a dark line at the base which makes it detectable along the gum line in some circumstances.

All porcelain or ceramic crowns provide the best natural color match but they do not have the strength of the prior two types. All ceramic crowns make a good choice for front teeth. A particular type of ceramic crown known as a Zirconia crown has two noteworthy qualites.

It has both exceptional strength and translucence which compares to natural teeth. Because of the numerous factors involved in choosing which crown to use, a discussion with Dr. Spalten will help in resolving your choice.