We love helping our patients achieve the smile of their dreams! Many dental issues can be corrected through cosmetic dentistry and the first step for any cosmetic procedure is a simple consultation with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos. They are here to discuss your dental health goals and help you find the right fit for your needs. A question we often get from patients is if they should replace old metal crowns and bridges with porcelain. There are many advantages to replacing your old crowns, but the reason to replace them isn’t one-size-fits-all. To learn more about porcelain restoration and who could benefit from this procedure, we spoke with Dr. Brunacini.
1. What is porcelain restoration?
Dr. Brunacini: Porcelain is the material that is used to give crowns and veneers the esthetic properties–color, luster, and a tactile sense. Porcelain restoration provides you with the translucency and shine of your natural teeth—you’d never be able to tell there was a need for a crown—and the texture of the polished porcelain is very similar to that of enamel. It is a restoration that needs to be fabricated in a lab, and requires taking an impression to send to the lab. We are now doing crowns that are metal-free. By doing so, we can create highly esthetic AND very strong restorations with minimal risk of chipping or breaking. It is a great option for patients!
2. Why would I need to replace a metal crown or bridge?
Dr. Brunacini: There can be numerous reasons for patients to need to replace their metal crowns. The most obvious one is when a new area of decay develops under an existing crown or bridge. This is one reason we do regular x-rays; they are very important to discover any changes underneath crowns before they become loose or problematic.
Also, for some patients, they find it unsightly to have metal show, so replacing a metal crown with a porcelain crown is a good solution for their needs. For many years, dentists placed crowns with a metal substructure and porcelain overlayed on top of the porcelain. Over time, the porcelain can chip, which may lead to poor esthetics or difficulty cleaning the crown. The only way to fix this situation is to replace it with a new crown.
If you have questions or concerns about your metal crowns, schedule a consultation with me or Dr. Karagiorgos. We are here to help you achieve your dental goals!
3. I’ve heard porcelain crowns can cause more wear and tear on my other teeth. Is this true?
Dr. Brunacini: With newer types of porcelain, there is less concern with wearing down opposing teeth. Of course, it is very important to finely adjust the bite on crowns to be sure they function well with the other teeth. This is why when we fit a porcelain crown, we sculpt and shape the porcelain to fit perfectly with your existing bite.
4. Are there any special care instructions for porcelain crowns and bridges?
Dr. Brunacini: There really isn’t much “special” care needed. For patients who grind their teeth, a night-guard may be indicated to protect the porcelain from chipping. However, most patients can simply stay on top of their regular home care, such as brushing twice daily and flossing daily. This should be sufficient enough to maintain porcelain crowns for many years!
Thank you, Dr. Brunacini!
Whether your reason is cosmetic, physical, or a bit of both, our team of caring dental professionals is here to help you find the right path toward a better smile. If you have more questions about porcelain restoration or would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Brunacini or Dr. Karagiorgos, call our office at 207.781.5900 today.