Happy New Year! An attractive smile will surely be as important towards success in 2008 as it was in 2007, perhaps more! The first post of 2008 discusses the advantages of all porcelain crowns near the front of the mouth. Crowns are required to restore teeth when a large portion of the tooth has been lost to decay, or fracture. Some of these teeth have had root canals and possibly posts. In the past these teeth were restored with porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns. The crown would get its strength from a metal substructure and porcelain would be baked on top of it. In year's past there was no good alternative to crowns with metal, but by today's standard they have many disadvantages. I'm sure you know someone who has some of these in the front of their mouth. They usually leave a blue grey line along the gum, or actually turn the gum a little bluish at its edge. In order to try to hide this grey metal edge of the crown a dentist is forced to place the edge of the crown under the gum line. Crowns placed under the gum can irritate the gum causing it to bleed promoting periodontal disease. Oftentimes PFM crowns are very opaque and lifeless looking since the metal underneath blocks out any light from passing through and lighting up the tooth. Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a solution to this dilemma using all ceramic metal free crowns. Because there is no metal inside these crowns they are very life like looking. Light passes through the crown illuminating it like a natural tooth. Because there is no metal edge to hide, the edge of the crown does not need to be placed under the gum leading to a healthier situation for your tissue. All ceramic crowns are very strong and durable as well. Pictured above is a recent case where a woman came into our office wanting to replace the four crowns on her front teeth. I ended up replacing the four crowns as well as placing porcelain veneers on the teeth behind the crowns. Needless to say she is thrilled with the outcome.