Although it was Shakespeare who was credited with the phrase “a rose is a rose is a rose,” it is actually a variation of “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” While it’s obvious that a rose’s scent would be pleasant regardless of its name, this is a reminder that comparisons aren’t always “apples to apples,” as they say. Roses vary, as does their scent. Crowns, bridges and other dental restorations can vary, too.
As a dentist, I see examples of this on a regular basis. It’s not uncommon to examine a new patient and see old crowns or bridges of inferior quality or were placed without proper bite alignment. For those who assume “a crown is a crown is a crown,” let me dispel this misconception.
To begin, a crown can be made by different dental labs and of different materials. Naturally, the cheaper labs provide a cheaper quality. The look won’t have the natural appearance that blends well with other teeth. It will look like a “fake” tooth. The feel will not have the smooth finish that is natural in your mouth.
For those who have a crown placed where it is not necessarily visible in a smile, the longevity is a concern. Everyone wants to feel they made a good investment when it comes to what they spend on their smile. Yet, the life of a crown is dependent on its materials as well as its proper placement. Obviously, a crown made of lower grade materials won’t hold up as well.
What may not be obvious, however, is the affect of placement. When a tooth is prepared for a crown, the shape, shade and size of the crown is provided to the dental lab. There is no margin for error. The slightest misstep in height or shape can create conflict for the teeth above or below.
For example, when a crown is just a hair too high, it will hit incorrectly on the tooth that meets it in a bite. Amazingly, this tiny disparity can result in headaches, migraines, sore jaw joints, ear ringing, dizziness, facial pain or pain in the neck and shoulders.
The same principles apply to a bridge. Bridges that look good, fit correctly, and last an exceptionally long time are worth “doing right the first time.” When a bridge is placed because it was the lowest price, like anything, the ‘corner-cutting’ will show up sooner or later. Usually sooner.
Rather than think of a crown in terms of what it will cost, think of it for what it will provide to you for a fair price. Will it look as natural as your surrounding teeth? Will it feel like a tooth when you run your tongue over it? Will it last for a long time because it was well-made? Will it be placed so it helps you avoid bite problems from occurring in the future?
When we provide our patients with a crown, bridge or veneer, we know it is an investment you’ve chosen to make. Our goal is to have you pleased with your investment long after it is made. Let’s talk about how we can help you achieve a healthy, confident smile affordably. Call 910-254-4555 and ask for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.