Flagstaff Downtown Dental – Family & Cosmetic Dentistry
Where damage to a person’s teeth is extreme, and apparently beyond repair, we can use all porcelain or porcelain “pasted on gold” crowns to make the smile appear “as new”. This is an extremely reliable technique for repairing the most severe of dental problems, even permanently replacing missing teeth to offer a complete smile and a functional bite. We are renowned for the quality of our work and the fantastic changes we make for people using this technology. These treatments are used for a long-lasting correction of major dental problems. Often these treatments last for 20 to 30 years, which is as close to permanent as dental treatment can get.
How long does it take to fit a dental crown?
Fitting a crown requires two visits to our office. Initially, we will remove decay, shape the tooth, and fit it with a comfortable and cosmetic temporary crown made of plastic.
On the subsequent visit we will remove the temporary crown, and then fit and adjust the final crown. Finally, we will cement the crown into place and you have a new beautiful looking tooth. Usually no anesthetic is required on the second dental visit.
Key Benefits of Dental Crowns
- Replaces missing teeth
- Offers support to misshapen teeth or badly broken teeth
- Looks completely natural
- Fixes “smile” and functional chewing problems
What Are the Capabilities of Crowns?
Crown and bridgework is a very reliable solution for major dental problems caused through accidents, diseases or wear and tear. Major problems can usually be corrected using these techniques. Material used in these repairs is either high-grade porcelain, or porcelain bonded to gold. A higher strength of the porcelain and gold materials is recommended to treat the most serious of dental problems. Where accidental damage has occurred, resulting in lost teeth, or where teeth have broken away through excessive wear, or as the result of old fillings breaking, crowns and/or bridges can be used as a long-term solution.
Many people have unexplained pain to biting from filled back teeth, which is usually due to hairline cracks in the chewing part of the tooth. Placing crowns on these teeth relieves the pain and allows a return of full dental function for these teeth. Also, teeth that are cracking and hurting to bite on can end up needing a root canal or even lose the tooth! In front teeth, older fillings can both weaken the teeth and cause “appearance” problems due to staining or chipping. Porcelain crowns and bridges are suitable in cases where porcelain veneers are not. In teeth with root canal fillings, crowns can prevent breakage.
Advances in Porcelain Crowns
Traditionally, in the past, tooth colored crowns were made of a metal “shell” on the inside, then an opaque “paint” type porcelain was put over the metal to hide the silver color. Porcelain is then baked over this, similar to baking a ceramic pot in a kiln. This actually produces a good looking tooth with good durability. These crowns are a little abrasive and may wear down the opposing tooth, especially when multiple crowns are opposing multiple natural teeth. Important developments in all-ceramic materials have created awesome opportunities for the fabrication of lifelike restorations that provide reliable, long-term results.
The result is an incredibly natural appearance with not only high strength but wears the same as natural enamel. In Dr. Bacon and Dr. Stowell‘s office in Flagstaff, AZ, we are currently using E-Max crowns where indicated. These crowns are shaped by an artistic lab technician that will match color and shape to your natural teeth. These crowns are made locally in Flagstaff, AZ. When we work on anterior teeth that are part of your smile, we sometimes recommend bleaching your teeth prior to other work.
Important information concerning crowns and your insurance: Insurance companies, including Delta Dental, Met Life, etc. make no distinction when paying for a crown. They simply pay for a crown depending on the code. The dental office decides where to have the crown made, by whom and how much it will cost. Let the patient beware! Some of these crowns (up to 50% nationwide) are made overseas in such areas as the Philipppines! Why? To save money.
At our office we use a certified American Lab that also certifies what materials are in your crown.
Yes, it costs more. But this is going in your body and it is important to have quality materials and a good fit. If there is any detail that is not perfect, we send it over to our lab and usually have it back ready to cement in just an hour. Not so if it comes from out of town, much less out of the country.
Ask your dentist where your crown will be made!
Lab fabricated porcelain crowns vs. machined porcelain crowns (Cerec)
Dr. Bacon and Dr. Stowell insist on lab fabricated custom crowns for all their patients. The advantages of a custom crown has many advantages for the patient:
- Superior fit- The “margins” of our crowns are unmatched by Cerec
- Superior color match- Our lab often blend colors to get just the right shade. Teeth are seldom monochromatic so the one shade Cerec crown often does not blend well.
- Superior anatomical match- Ever try to draw with a computer program? The result is a generic tooth anatomy, which is no match for the artistry of our lab technician at Kachina Dental lab in Flagstaff,AZ.
- Less tooth structure removal- Cerec requires a greater thickness than our crowns and therefore requires the dentist to drill away more of your existing tooth structure.
- Longer Durability-Dr. Bacon and Dr. Stowell often are replacing broken Cerec crowns with lab fabricated pressed ceramic crowns.
- Less abrasive to opposing dentition
Note: Dr. Bacon had representatives from a top-notch dental supplier bring a Cerec Machine for a full day to his office.
Both a dentist and a special Cerec technician spent the day with him. When he asked them at the end of the day why he had so many problems with the fit, bite, and esthetics (among other things) they said it must be due to Dr. Bacon’s lack of experience with Cerec. He said “Wait a minute, I had 2 experts helping all day doing their best to sell me a Cerec.” Dr. Bacon figured if a good crown can’t be made under these conditions, a good Cerec crown is an oxymoron.