Serving all of Central and Western Montana ~ Located in Missoula


MIssoula General Dentistry Crowns A crown is a restoration that is used to entirely cover a tooth which is badly broken down, or has a previous large silver or tooth colored filling which is failing. A slightly abbreviated restoration, called an “onlay”, may also be indicated in a situation, if the destruction of the tooth is more minimal. Crown restorations can be made of full gold, porcelain, or a combination design. Full gold crowns are still the restoration of choice on the molar teeth where the biting forces are the highest, especially in patients who have a history of tooth grinding. Porcelain crowns are tooth colored on the outside, and are reinforced with a white gold or zirconium substructure for strength. A combination design has a white gold chewing surface, with a porcelain outer surface, to allow for a tooth colored restoration with very high durability. This design is most commonly used on upper back teeth, where the porcelain is visible in the smile and the metal portion is “hidden” by the inside of the mouth.  Newer all ceramic materials are showing huge promise from standpoints of both strength and esthetics, and are quickly revolutionizing this treatment. The all ceramic technology has reached the point where we are able to eliminate the use of metal in most situations, while achieving an even stronger restoration!
The above photo demonstrates the gamut of material choices we have for crown and onlay restorations.  The two on the far right are the most commonly used materials today (Zirconia and Lithium Disilicate), as they offer the best combination between good esthetics and natural translucency, and high strength/fracture resistance.  The restoration on the far right is an onlay, which provides the same benefits as a crown, but is more conservative to your tooth.  Please ask your dentist which material is best for your tooth!