An easy guide to porcelain crowns: the good, the nice and easy.

When Do You Need a Crown?

Our smiles are a reflection of our joys and memories, but a number of circumstances can impede our teeth from looking and working their best. Thanks to advanced dentistry technology, dentists can now offer a reliable, long-lasting and natural looking solution: zirconia infused porcelain crowns.

What is a tooth crown?

A dental crown is a cap shaped like your original tooth that encases your tooth to restore its function and appearance. Tooth crowns are useful when you need to restore a damaged tooth, improve a tooth’s appearance or recover a tooth’s function. There are several types of dental crowns, but porcelain crowns offer both long-lasting and natural-looking results.Tooth crowns fit perfectly to the shape and size of your mouth; if done properly, nobody will know you have one.

When does a tooth needs a crown?

Porcelain crowns are a reliable solution for many dental problems. However, you may not need a tooth crown. Dental crowns are useful after having a root canal that has severely damaged the teeth and left them prone to cracking or after a large filling that leaves a large hollow in the tooth making it unstable. Due to stress, some people tend to grind their teeth excessively, which can wear them down and make them prone to cracking. This type of wear can also be a result of acid reflux, an acidic diet or excessive soda intake. If this is the case and you have only minor cracks or stains, a dental veneer would be a more suitable solution for you.

Dental crown installation


The main difference between a tooth crown and a veneer is the installation process. Both options add coverage to an existing tooth, however, when getting a crown, a larger percentage of the original tooth will be removed. Generally, you will need two visits to a Dental Studio. During your first consultation, your dentist will prepare everything for your tooth crown. This involves taking an X-Ray so the doctor can clearly see the state of the tooth and the bone around it. Then, your doctor needs to make room for your crown, so he or she will file your tooth and make an impression for your permanent crown. While this procedure is uncomfortable, it doesn’t take long, and it ensures that the crown doesn’t affect your bite and looks as natural as possible. To finish the first appointment, your dentist will prepare a temporary crown to protect and cover the prepared tooth.

The impressions are then taken to the dental laboratory where your personalized crown will be made. During your second visit, your dentist will color-check the porcelain to make sure it matches your teeth and install your tooth crown. To decrease the pain when permanently setting the crown, a light sedative can be used. Once the crown is cemented, the process is finished, and you can go about your day. You can take over-the-counter pain medication as needed to control the discomfort. Remember that it is important you have a consultation with a board-certified dentist, such as Dr. Ceballos, to ask any questions about the procedure.

How long does a porcelain crown last?

Many patients are reluctant to get a tooth crown because of fear that their investment will go down the drain after a few years. With today’s technology, crowns can last for decades, but are crowns as strong as real teeth? To answer this question, it is important to understand that the different types of dental crowns have different functions and durability. For example, some dentists choose to work with ceramic crowns because of their natural color, but ceramic is not suitable for heavy biting and can become brittle. Metal-based crowns are more durable but not pleasing to the eye. However, new porcelain crowns have an ultra-durable metal base. At VIDA, Dr. Ceballos uses zirconia, a biocompatible metal that reduces the chance of adverse reactions. This combination of materials results in a strong and natural solution that can last 15 to 20 years.

How do I take care of my tooth crown?

After the initial and natural adaption of your body to your new tooth crown, your crown will become a part of your mouth and you won’t give it a second thought. Nonetheless, it is important you follow good oral hygiene practices: floss and use an antibacterial mouthwash once a day. If you get a tooth crown in your frontal teeth, be sure to pay extra care to where your gum meets the crown. Additionally, try to avoid grinding or clenching your teeth; if this is really hard for you to talk to your dentist about using a night guard. Remember, since porcelain crowns do not decay by themselves, taking care of them is easy: the formation of bacteria comes from poor oral hygiene and excessive wear from unhealthy habits.

Dr. Alejandro Quiroz

Dr. Quiroz is our board-certified Chief Plastic Surgeon at VIDA Clinic in Tijuana. He specializes in Facial Rejuvenation, Neck lift, Buttock Augmentation, Breast Augmentation, Body Contouring and more. He is member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society, the Mexican Society of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and the Mexican Council of Aesthetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, to mention a few.