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The world of dentistry is vast, with its array of treatments and procedures designed to restore, maintain, and enhance that beautiful smile. One of the most common questions patients ask is whether the restorative materials used in dental crowns offer more strength than their natural teeth. Patients at Thanksgiving Point Dental often inquire about porcelain crowns in Lehi and their durability, and we can walk you through the comparisons, benefits, and considerations you need to answer this vital question.

Porcelain crowns, or dental caps, are highly versatile dental restorations that cover a tooth’s entire visible part. They are highly popular due to their natural appearance. But when it comes to sheer strength, do they genuinely surpass natural enamel? To uncover the truth, we’ll explore the strengths and weaknesses of porcelain crowns compared to your biological teeth.

Comparison: Porcelain Crowns vs. Natural Teeth

Strength and Durability

Natural teeth are naturally strong and well-suited for the daily rigors of eating and talking. The enamel, the outermost layer of the tooth, is the hardest substance in the body. Porcelain crowns are robust and can withstand significant pressure but aren’t invincible. When it comes to tensile strength, natural teeth hold the edge. However, a well-crafted porcelain crown, made with the latest materials and techniques, can be a long-lasting solution for a damaged tooth.

Resistance to Decay and Discoloration

One area where porcelain crowns excel is their resistance to decay. Unlike natural teeth, they don’t have living tissue that cavities can affect. This means that once we crown a tooth, we eliminate the risk of decay in that tooth. Additionally, modern porcelain materials are highly resistant to staining, so your crown is less likely to discolor than your natural teeth.

Maintenance and Care Requirements

Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are crucial to maintain the health and strength of your natural teeth. The same applies to teeth with porcelain crowns. While the crown cannot decay, you need to keep the area where it meets the gumline clean to prevent gum disease and maintain the underlying tooth structure. Additionally, avoiding habits like biting on hard objects and grinding teeth can extend the life of a crown.

Benefits of Porcelain Crowns

Restoring Tooth Structure

A significant advantage of porcelain crowns is their ability to restore a tooth that has been heavily decayed, damaged, or weakened. By encasing the entire tooth, a crown provides a protective shell that stabilizes the structure, preventing further damage and potential tooth loss.

Enhancing Aesthetics

In terms of beauty, a well-designed porcelain crown can look nearly identical to a natural tooth. We carefully match the color and shape to your existing teeth, which makes crowns an excellent choice for visible teeth where aesthetics are essential.

Longevity and Sustainability

With proper care, a porcelain crown can last 10-15 years or possibly even longer. They are a sustainable solution for dental restoration and, given their longevity, they can be considered a reliable investment in oral health and well-being.

Customized Treatment Options

We treat each patient individually with customized solutions for their unique dental needs. Porcelain crowns are designed specifically for your mouth, ensuring the perfect fit and a result that complements your natural teeth.

Steps Involved in Dental Crown Placement

Dental crown placement is both an art and a science from consultation to completion. Here’s what you can expect from your crown treatment, step by step.

Consultation and Examination

The first and most crucial step in dental crown placement is consultation and examination. This involves a detailed assessment of your oral health to determine the viability of crown placement. The dentist will review your dental history, take X-rays, analyze your bite, and assess the tooth’s health that needs a crown. 

Additionally, you will discuss your treatment goals, potential crown materials, and cost considerations. Communicating openly about concerns or questions is essential to ensure the treatment plan meets your needs.

Tooth Preparation

Once you’re ready to move forward, the tooth that will receive the crown needs preparation. This begins with administering a local anesthetic to ensure a pain-free experience. We then reshape the tooth using a dental drill to make room for the crown. This step is critical as it ensures the crown will fit in line with your bite pattern and adjoining natural teeth. Any decay is also removed during this stage to prevent further damage to the tooth or the new crown.

The Delicate Art of Shaping

Tooth preparation balances removing enough material for the crown to fit securely and leaving enough to maintain tooth strength. We will shape the tooth precisely, and the patient’s bite and smile aesthetics are often improved even before we place the crown.

Impressions and Temporary Crown

With the prepared tooth ready for the new crown, we will take impressions of your mouth. These impressions serve as a mold for creating a crown that matches your tooth’s exact shape and size. 

While the permanent crown is being fabricated in the dental lab—often a week or two—you’ll wear a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth. This step ensures you can eat and speak without discomfort while waiting for your final restoration.

A Sneak Peek at the New Smile

The temporary crown provides protection and gives you and your dentist a preview of the final product. It’s your first look at the shape and color the permanent crown will have, and any adjustments can be made at this stage to ensure you are satisfied with the aesthetics before the final placement.

Your New Tooth

The dental lab is where the vision of your new tooth takes form. The final polishing gives the crown its natural luster. These expert technicians are the unsung heroes of your dental restoration.

Final Placement

The last step in the crown placement process is attaching the permanent crown to your prepared tooth. Before placing the crown, your dentist will assess the fit and make any necessary adjustments. Once you and the dentist are satisfied, the permanent crown will be cemented into place, finalizing your restored smile.

The Moment of Truth

When the final crown is in your mouth, it should feel natural. Your bite should be comfortable, and you should be able to speak and chew easily. Your dentist will also advise you on what to expect in the early stages of living with a new crown, as there may be an adjustment period as you become accustomed to it.

Aftercare and Maintenance

Caring for your new crown is essential to ensure its longevity. While a crown can’t decay, the tooth beneath it still can. It would help if you practice good oral hygiene, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups. It’s also important to avoid habits that could damage the crown, such as chewing on hard objects, grinding your teeth, or using your teeth to open packages.

Porcelain Crowns in Lehi

Porcelain crowns are a robust, aesthetically pleasing, and durable option for tooth restoration, often mimicking the strength of natural teeth. While they may not be technically “stronger,” their advantages in meeting specific dental needs and preferences make them an excellent choice for many patients. Discuss this option with our dental professionals to determine if a porcelain crown suits you. 

The best way to determine if any treatment is proper for your unique situation is to speak with Dr. Brandon J. Valgardson or Dr. John Armstrong. Thanksgiving Point Dental will provide the expertise and guidance needed to make an informed decision about your dental health. If you are considering a porcelain crown, fixed bridges, dental fillings, or all-on-4s in Lehi, Utah, contact us to schedule your consultation and understand this treatment’s true strength and suitability.