High quality, natural looking crowns need to be more than just ‘white’, they must approximate the complex color scheme of your other teeth or they will stick out like a ‘sore thumb’. Color is approximately matched using standardized color tabs which are selected with your approval and is included in basic crown fees. If your crown is prominently visible, some degree of additional customization will usually be required to more closely match your other teeth. This customization process can proceed until the best possible match is obtained subject to the limitations of man-made materials and fees based on the length of time required for customization. When skillful clinical treatment is combined with artful laboratory technical work it is often difficult to detect the difference between a well made crown and your natural teeth. Natural teeth will tend to slowly darken with age. Teeth restored with a crown will remain the same color.
Shape is extremely critical and is one of the most frequently overlooked aspects of many crowns. This has resulted in an otherwise attractive smile being ruined by crowns not matching the remaining teeth and appearing as if they stick out. Proper shape is also required to prevent food jamming between teeth and to permit easy and thorough cleaning to avoid bad breath.
Red, blue or swollen gums and gum recession are ugly and can be caused by improperly made crowns. Many crowns are now quickly made ‘on the spot’ in the dental office but far too often have a poor shape, poor fit and a rough surface causing gum problems. The gum around the crown made with gentle, accurate techniques should be pink, firm, not bleed during cleaning and not suffer significant recession.
A well made crown should have a perfect bite and feel completely even with the other teeth on the very first day and does not require time to settle in. An uneven bite will either be uncomfortable or allow your other teeth to shift and become crooked.
The shape of the tooth under a crown is extremely critical. If properly designed and shaped, crowns should not fall off and should look like they have an excellent alignment and appearance. Expert treatment during the shaping of the tooth when the crown is first made can essentially eliminate needless future costs of re-attaching or remaking a crown that won’t stay on. Mistakes in shaping the tooth for a crown can cause harm to the gum or the tooth nerve resulting in the need for additional expensive treatment at best and at worst, can not be undone or reversed resulting in a permanent defect.
A crown should feel comfortable, look natural and maintain or restore your ability to eat and speak. Our patients routinely can’t feel much difference between a real tooth and a crown.
Do not expect your general dentist to obtain the results routinely obtainable in our prosthodontic specialty office. General dentists try to stay on top of all the general routine treatments patients need but can’t be expected to be capable of providing specialized treatment. There are some capable dental specialists in Mexico and elsewhere but always beware of ‘discount dentistry’. An attempt to obtain specialty treatment from those without the appropriate training and experience is likely to create problems and regret.