FAQs About Porcelain Veneers

If you are considering porcelain veneers, you may have a number of questions about this popular restorative and cosmetic dental treatment. Here is everything you'll need to know.

What are Porcelain Crowns?

Porcelain crowns are a dental solution that restores the size, shape and function of a tooth, but in a discreet way, so that your smile remains looking completely natural and beautiful. They are most often used where the patient’s tooth is badly decayed, eroded or broken, and sit over the top of the affected tooth, encasing it completely inside.

Varieties of Porcelain Crown

Porcelain crowns are identical in design to regular crowns. However, there are two different varieties available:

- 100% porcelain crowns

- Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns

The main difference between them is that PFM crowns are made from metal, but have a porcelain covering over the top which enables the patient to benefit from the strength of a metal crown, but the aesthetics of a porcelain one. Some people do find that PFM crowns have a slightly darker shadow in the center of them, owing to the metal inside.

What are the Benefits of choosing Porcelain over All Metal?

Although metal crowns are more durable than porcelain varieties, they are significantly more obvious. Porcelain crowns can be created in a variety of shades, enabling them to be matched to the patient’s existing teeth. No-one wants everyone around them to know that they have had dental treatment, and so most patients choose PMF or all-porcelain crowns wherever possible so that they can retain a natural-looking smile.

What Issues can Porcelain Crowns Address?

Porcelain crowns can be used to address dental problems including:

  • Teeth that are cracked/broken

  • Teeth that are at high risk of breaking

  • Teeth that are severely decayed and are beyond the help of a cavity filling

  • Teeth that are severely eroded

  • Teeth that are badly stained or discolored

  • Teeth that are a different shape or size to the others in your mouth

  • Patients who require a dental bridge. This is because crowns are used to secure the bridge in place.

  • Patients who are interested in dental implants. This is because crowns are used as the visible part of the tooth.

What Happens When Porcelain Crowns are Fitted?

The procedure for receiving porcelain crowns is identical to regular crowns, with one exception – you can choose which shade of porcelain most closely resembles that of your natural teeth.

Preparing your existing tooth for the crown will involve either filing it down so that the crown can sit perfectly over the top, or in the case of badly eroded teeth, built up so that it can support the crown. This process is completed under local anesthetic, so you should not be in any discomfort. A temporary crown will be placed while your permanent restoration is being made.

Once your crown is ready, you can return to your dentist’s office to have the permanent porcelain crown fitted.

How Long Does a Porcelain Crown Last?

The life expectancy of your crown will vary depending on how well you look after it, and the amount of wear and tear your teeth go through. However, the majority of crowns last between 5 and 15 years, with PFM crowns usually outlasting 100% porcelain varieties.

For more information, contact us and schedule an appointment with our dentist.

smiling patient with dentist