Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Modern Materials and Digital Technology Make Crowns Better

The combination of modern porcelain with digital technology now allows us to provide strong, excellent fitting, and beautiful crowns.
Crowns are often needed when a tooth has been broken down due to decay or trauma, has had a root canal, or has a deep crack. This tried and true technique has been a part of dentistry for more than a century. Traditionally, crowns were made of gold alloy, all porcelain, or a combination of the two. Gold crowns have long been the “Gold Standard” as this technique allowed for excellent fit, very conservative removal of tooth structure (as little as a half a millimeter), and long lasting restorations. Modern esthetic expectations have made porcelain crowns more popular. Unfortunately, porcelain crowns demand much more aggressive tooth structure removal to make room for the porcelain; four times as much as gold crowns. Traditional porcelain crowns are also prone to fracture.
Modern technology has resulted in a solution that achieves the conservative durability gold with the beauty of porcelain. Solid zirconia porcelain crowns need minimal tooth structure removal and are virtually unbreakable. These hi-tech restorations are digitally designed and milled from a sold block of porcelain. At the Baltimore Center for Laser Dentistry we digitally scan the tooth being crowned resulting in a much more accurate impression than the traditional putty impression. This digital impression is emailed to the lab where the technician uses computers to design and make the crown.