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What is the best thing to do for a severely damaged tooth?
In the old days, many dentists simply gave up on the tooth and pulled it. In cosmetic dentistry, we always seek to find a restorative solution rather than take drastic measures of elimination. In terms of a badly damaged tooth, probably the best and most effective restorative solution is the use of a porcelain crown.
Isnt porcelain highly breakable?
If you are talking about the porcelain in your china cabinet, yes. If you are talking about the fired porcelain we use in Houston Cosmetic Dentistry, quite the opposite is true. This type of porcelain is very hard and virtually unbreakable. That is why a tooth, when properly fitted with a well-designed porcelain crown, can chew anything it chewed before it was damaged by accident or decay.
I heard that porcelain crowns have this blue streak through them. Is that true?
Some of the older porcelain-fused-to metal crowns used a combination of porcelain and metal. Sometimes this metal would become visible as a thin blue line right above the patients gum line. Todays porcelain crowns, however, do not require the use of metal. They can be custom-made to fit like a glove over the top of a tooth, and they can be cemented directly to its surface.
The natural color of porcelain itself is translucent whitemuch like tooth enameland appears virtually identical when viewed in comparison with your natural teeth.
How long will it take me to get a porcelain crown?
Generally speaking, and barring any complications that might arise along the way, we are looking at two appointments within a 2-3 week maximum period.
Why so long?
We cannot make porcelain crowns here at the Medical Center Dental Group. They have to be custom-manufactured in a dental lab.
What happens during my first and appointments?
When you come in for your first appointment, we remove all decay from the tooth we plan to restore. We also shape it to better accommodate a dental crown. We take impressions of your teeth, make a model of your mouth, and send it to the dental lab that makes your porcelain crown. We also fit your tooth with a temporary crown in order to protect it while we wait on the lab.
When your porcelain crown is ready, we call you in for your second appointment. We test the crown for fit and bite by placing it over your tooth, but not cementing it just yet. If any adjustments are necessary, we will have to send it back to the lab for refinishing. In most cases this is not necessary, however, and after preliminary tests prove satisfactory, we cement or bond the crown in place.
How biofriendly is porcelain to the tissues in my mouth?
That is an excellent question. In truth, porcelain crowns are some of the most bio-friendly tooth restorative solutions used in the world of dentistry. Because porcelain so closely mimics the color of natural teeth, it does not have to be embedded below your gum line. This puts much less strain on your gum tissue and greatly reduces the risk of any potential infection such strain would cause.
Cosmetic Dentistry is a specialized field that requires extensive knowledge and experience to be done correctly. The Medical Center Dental Group in Houston, Texas brings all of that and more to the direct benefit of each and every patient we treat. Although we are located in the world famous Houston Medical Center at Scurlock Towers, we routinely see dental patients who travel from Austin, San Antonio, Dallas, Beaumont Midland and Houston, Texas to see Dr. Dale Brant, Dr. Charles Campbell or Dr. Elizabeth OSullivan-Winslow for their cosmetic dentistry services.