For more than a century, dental practitioners have used silver-mercury amalgam fillings and dental crowns to restore and repair decayed or broken teeth. Fillings and crowns are a quick, safe way to prevent further decay or damage to your existing teeth.
For more than a century, dental practitioners have used silver-mercury amalgam fillings to restore and repair decayed or broken teeth. Prior to the discovery of amalgam fillings, early oral surgeons would use bits of cloth and animal bone, stone chips, turpentine resin, or various metals to fill in unsightly gaps in their patients’ smiles. In fact, it was the famous surgeon Johannes Arculanus who in the 15th century first proposed the notion of using real gold leaf to make teeth whole again!
Dental amalgam has been used as a dental restorative material for over 150 years and is used to fill in the spaces where dental caries has damaged a portion of a tooth. Amalgam is, in fact, one of the oldest materials used in oral health care. Its use as an oral aid is predated only by the use of gold, which obviously became too expensive for the average patient. Amalgam remains a popular option because it is strong, durable, and inexpensive. An estimated 200 million restorative German Dental procedures performed in 1990 alone used amalgam in some form. However, amalgam use is declining because the occurrence of dental cavities is decreasing and because other materials, like porcelain resin and alloy substances, are now available for particular applications and treatments.
An amalgam filling can be a viable and inexpensive choice to treat a small cavity or a minor dental problem. Please call us if you have questions or concerns about silver-amalgam fillings.
Dental Crowns (Caps)
The term crown refers to the restoration of a tooth using materials that are fabricated and then are cemented into place. A crown is used to “cap,” that is completely cover, a tooth. Dental crowns are regularly made for teeth that have broken, are noticeably worn down, or have been damaged by decay. Unlike amalgam fillings, crowns completely cover the visible portion of a tooth, the part that lies at and above the gum line. That means the crown encases the entire tooth, making it the tooth’s new exterior surface.
Crowns can be made of porcelain (a type of dental ceramic), metal (gold or a metal alloy), or a combination of both. A dentist might recommend a crown, also known as a “tooth cap” or “dental cap,” for one of four primary reasons:
to restore a tooth to its original shape
to strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by decay, illness, or injury
to improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth
to replace a large, unsightly traditional silver-amalgam filling
Our dental lab technicians take great pride in matching the color and translucency of your new crown with the appearance of your natural teeth. Our technicians will shape and reshape your crown to best match the opposing teeth, which gives you a better bite and improved jaw function. In fact, your crown will be so carefully matched that it will be virtually indistinguishable from your natural teeth. Once application is completed, the crowned tooth looks and functions just like your natural teeth and is actually stronger than before due to the reinforcement of a specialized adhesive utilized to bond the crown to the tooth. Resin crowns also look better and last longer than silver-amalgam fillings. Applying a tooth-colored crown can be an economical way to restore a cracked, broken, discolored, or decayed tooth.
The Functions Of Dental Crowns…
The dental crown serves two vital functions. First, it enhances the appearance of your teeth and your facial features. Because your teeth support your facial muscles and expressions, anything less than a full tooth may affect the way you look and your ability to fully command the muscles of your face, not to mention the ability to chew properly. One thing to keep in mind is that if your tooth is severely decayed or cracked, the dentist will need to restore it prior to applying a crown.
Second, a crown will be the same size, shape, and color as the natural tooth. As a result, the crown will maintain the alignment of your jaw and bite, ensuring that the surrounding teeth don’t shift or assume a greater share of the work when it comes to biting and chewing food. Crowns can help maintain the integrity of your jaw, ensuring many years of healthy eating and talking.
Our patients love the result of a natural porcelain crown. They love the fact that porcelain crowns look just like their natural teeth and don’t have a dark metal line. They also appreciate the healthy, natural glow a porcelain crown offers.
Replacing old crowns, fillings, inlays, and bridges with metal-free restorations is a wonderful way to brighten your smile and maintain the healthy integrity of your jaw, not to mention improve your self-esteem and confidence!
Oral Care With Dental Crowns…
Once your crown is in place, it is imperative that you brush the area well and that you floss below the gum line on a regular basis. The crown protects the remaining tooth enclosed within it from further decay. However, you must guard the base of the crown against bacterial growth so gum disease does not result.