Dental crowns are like a protective cover that slides over your tooth, giving it an entirely new surface from the top down to the gum line. Dental crowns are used to treat:
- Cracked teeth
- Broken teeth
- Worn teeth
- Teeth weakened by decay or large fillings
- Infected teeth, after a root canal
While they are protecting your teeth, they can also improve their appearance. Dental crowns can be used to cover discolored teeth and build up worn or poorly formed teeth to rejuvenate your smile.
We offer precious metal, porcelain fused to metal, and fully porcelain or ceramic crowns.
Ceramic Fillings: Dental Inlays and Onlays
Ceramic inlays and onlays are another option for people looking for tooth-colored fillings. An inlay is a restoration that fits inside the curve of your tooth’s biting surface, but doesn’t go over the raised portions at the edges (the cusps). Onlays are larger, and go over the cusps but don’t go all the way down to the gum line as crowns do.
The advantages of inlays and onlays over other types of fillings include:
- Stronger—reduce sensitivity during chewing
- More durable—wear out more slowly than metal amalgam or composite fillings
- Better seal—don’t allow accumulation of bacteria and food around the edge of filling
- More attractive—match the color and luster of your other teeth
These benefits make ceramic fillings an ideal choice.
Dental Crowns and Ceramic Filling Process
Whether you are receiving a crown or a ceramic filling, the process is very similar. First, your tooth is prepared. This means that damaged tooth material is removed, and sometimes, especially in the case of a crown, tooth material is removed to make room for the restoration. Then an impression of your tooth is made. This impression is sent to our quality dental lab, along with a precise description of your tooth color for matching. Your tooth is fitted with a temporary restoration.
After a couple weeks, your restoration is ready and you come back to have the restoration fitted. We will check the color match and fit of the restoration, then secure it in place.
If you have additional questions or want to schedule an appointment, please call (803) 781-9090 or contact Smile Columbia Dentistry.