The Evolution of Dental Crown Aesthetics

The dental crown keeps getting better

Dental Crowns Then and Now

Modern dentistry has evolved considerably over the past several decades. Gone are the days of corrective dental treatments that leave visible metals or colored fillings and crowns inside our mouths. Now, the goal of restorative and cosmetic dentistry is to match the natural color of your teeth as much as possible. This process of working to ensure that your corrective dental elements match your natural teeth is commonly referred to as aesthetic dentistry.

What are dental crowns used for?

Dental crowns are designed to protect, preserve, and restore a damaged or worn tooth. Dental crowns are commonly made using metals, resin, porcelain, and ceramic. 

Specifically, crowns are used for the following:

  • Covering misshapen or severely discolored teeth or dental implants
  • Covering a tooth that has been previously received root canal treatment
  • Covering a tooth that has experienced serious tooth decay
  • Preventing a weak or cracked tooth from breaking
  • Restoring a broken or a severely worn tooth
  • Supporting and covering a tooth that has a large filling or not much remaining tooth structure
  • Keeping a dental bridge in place

The great thing about crowns is that as long as you take good care of your teeth by practicing good daily oral hygiene, your crowns can last a lifetime. And to be a candidate for a dental crown, all you need is good dental health with no immediate treatment needs for cavities or gum disease.

Dental Crowns of Days Gone By 

Dental crowns were often made of the same materials as regal head crowns in the past. Typical materials included metal alloy, such as chromium and nickel-chromium. As gold and metal are both highly durable, dentists of the past used these same materials for dental crowns. And though gold crowns are more durable than metal alloy, both materials can withstand strong pressure from chewing. For this reason, metal crowns were often used in the back of the mouth, and sometimes still are today. However, many patients didn’t like the look of metal and gold crowns because they stood out so much from their natural teeth. As a result, dentists looked for new options, many of which are used today. 

Modern-day Dental Crowns 

With increasing pressure from patients to find a material that would match their natural teeth, scientists and dentists responded to the demand by identifying new materials that could protect, preserve, and restore damaged or worn teeth. Dentists today, including Dr. Oxley, have started using e.max, zirconia, and porcelain crowns. Each of these options works well and comes with their own advantages.

E.max Dental Crowns 

E.max crowns are an excellent choice for patients whose teeth are stained or discolored, broken or fractured, crooked, or have undergone a root canal procedure. E.max crowns are all-ceramic and are constructed from lithium disilicate material. Robust and aesthetically pleasing, e.max crowns are just a bit translucent and can closely match your teeth’s natural color. This ability to match your remaining teeth makes e.max dental crowns a great solution if you need a crown restoration for your front teeth. 

Zirconia Dental Crowns 

Another commonly used dental crown is the zirconia crown, the most substantial crown available. These crowns are metal-free and are often used on the back teeth. Made of a white, powdered ceramic material called zirconium dioxide, these crowns are strong and thin and offer a natural white coloring that helps them match the rest of your smile. But perhaps even better is that zirconia is biocompatible, which means the chances of the surrounding tissues in your mouth becoming irritated by the crown or rejecting the crown altogether are quite low. For this same reason, zirconia is widely used in the medical field for prosthesis surgeries on hips, fingers, and ears.

Porcelain Dental Crowns 

Porcelain dental crowns are made using porcelain that matches the color of your teeth so they blend seamlessly. Not only do these crowns strengthen the tooth they cap, but they help keep your smile bright and white. As with e.max and zirconia crowns, porcelain crowns are bonded to the tooth to fit over it, thus restoring the tooth to its original strength, size, and function.

Let Oxley Comprehensive Dental help determine the right dental crown for your needs.

If you live or work in the New Bern, North Carolina, area and have a tooth that requires protection, preservation, or restoration, let Oxley Comprehensive Dental help determine the best dental crown for your needs. With so many materials available, it can be challenging to choose the best option for a single dental crown. Thankfully, Dr. Oxley is well versed in selecting the right dental crown based on each patient’s unique situation. So, what are you waiting for? Request an appointment today.