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Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain restorations at NYC Smile Design offer a premium solution for restoring and enhancing the strength, functionality, and aesthetic appeal of damaged, previously restored, or decayed teeth. Led by Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib, our team utilizes advanced technology and personalized care to expertly craft each restoration to match the natural color and translucency of your own teeth,  blend seamlessly into your smile, and provide a durable and visually appealing result. 

What Are Porcelain Crowns?

Porcelain crowns are custom-made “caps” that are placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. These crowns are crafted from high-quality ceramic materials that mimic the translucency and color of natural teeth, making them a popular choice for both restorative and cosmetic dental procedures. Ideal for patients looking to address issues such as severe tooth decay, cracks, discoloration, or misalignment, porcelain crowns provide a durable and aesthetically pleasing solution.

The superior aesthetic quality of porcelain allows for a natural-looking finish that blends seamlessly with surrounding teeth. This makes porcelain crowns particularly suited for visible areas of the mouth, where a cosmetic appearance is crucial. Additionally, the biocompatible nature of porcelain ensures that crowns are gentle on the gums and compatible with the human body, minimizing the risk of allergic reactions.

How Porcelain Crowns Are Applied

Applying a porcelain crown typically involves several steps, performed over two or more visits to the dentist:

1) Initial Consultation and Tooth Preparation: The process begins with a consultation at NYC Smile Design, where Dr. Elisa Mello or Dr. Ramin Tabib will assess your dental health and discuss the best approach for your specific needs. The tooth receiving the crown is then prepared, which involves reshaping the tooth by removing a portion of enamel to allow room for the crown to be placed over it. This step is essential for the crown to fit seamlessly and function like a natural tooth.

2) Impression and Crown Fabrication: Once the tooth is prepared, an impression of your bite (including the prepared tooth and surrounding teeth) is taken. This impression can be made digitally or with traditional dental putty. The impression is sent to a dental lab where your custom crown is crafted. In the meantime, a temporary crown is placed to protect the prepared tooth.

3) Fitting the Permanent Crown: During your follow-up visit, the temporary crown is removed, and the new porcelain crown is fitted. Before permanently cementing the crown, Dr. Mello or Dr. Tabib will ensure that it matches the color of your surrounding teeth and fits comfortably in your bite. Any necessary adjustments are made to ensure a perfect fit.

4) Bonding In the Crown: Once the fit and appearance are satisfactory, the crown is bonded onto your tooth. Special dental bonding and luting agents are used to securely fuse the crown to your tooth, and a special light may be used to quickly harden and polymerize the agents.

5) Final Adjustments and Care Instructions: After the crown is in place, final adjustments are made as needed to ensure optimal function and comfort. You will also receive detailed care instructions to help extend the life of your new crown.

Porcelain crowns are a reliable and effective solution for restoring dental health and enhancing the beauty of your smile. With proper care and regular dental check-ups, they can provide a long-lasting, beautiful addition to your oral health regimen.

When You Need a Porcelain Crown

Porcelain crowns are not just about aesthetics; they serve as a functional restoration for various dental conditions. Understanding when you might need a porcelain crown can help you make informed decisions about your dental health. Here are several scenarios where a porcelain crown might be the recommended treatment option:

Significant Tooth Decay

When a tooth has decayed extensively, and a large portion has to be removed, a filling may no longer be sufficient. A crown provides comprehensive coverage and strengthens the remaining tooth structure.

Damage and Wear

Teeth that have been fractured, chipped, or worn down from habits like grinding (bruxism) often require crowns to restore their original shape, anatomy, and function.

After Root Canal Therapy

A tooth that has undergone root canal treatment may need a crown to protect the hollowed-out tooth from further damage and to restore its functionality.

Cosmetic Enhancements

For teeth that are severely discolored, misshapen, or misaligned, porcelain crowns offer a cosmetic solution that can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile.

Replacement of Old Restorations

Over time, large old fillings or previous crowns can fail. Replacing these with new porcelain crowns can not only improve the health of the tooth but also enhance its appearance.

What are Porcelain Inlays and Onlays?

Modern cosmetic dentistry has afforded us with advances in technology to help create custom-made fillings to address structural issues with your teeth. Porcelain inlays and onlays are natural-looking fillings that help repair the surface of your tooth so that they will be stronger while helping to prevent future dental issues.

Both porcelain inlays and onlays are great for teeth with cavities that require a repair less extensive than a dental crown but are serious enough to need something more supportive than a dental filling. They’re also great for teeth that have small cracks or fractures that require restoration. Porcelain inlays and onlays are a conservative choice that ensures the preservation of the maximum amount of your own tooth.

While porcelain inlays and onlays generally serve the same purpose, there are subtle distinctions between the two, which are:

  • Porcelain inlays: Inlays are placed in the center of a tooth and bonded to it. They’re most often used for decayed or damaged teeth where the problem areas are shallow but wide, and near the outer surfaces of the tooth.
  • Porcelain onlays: Onlays may be necessary where a previous large filling has failed and needs replacing or if there is a large cavity that needs to be repaired. Onlays can also be used to repair damage to multiple cusps.

Each option is helpful by giving more support to your remaining tooth structure while minimizing the chances that you will eventually require further treatment, such as dental crowns, bridges, or implants.

How are Inlays and Onlays Different from Fillings and Crowns?

Dental fillings are used to treat tooth decay on almost any tooth surface. Dental crowns are placed over teeth weakened by decay or trauma to provide protection and strength. Inlays are used to treat decay between the cusps of a tooth, while onlays address decay on and over the cusps. Although these restorative treatments can sometimes overlap in their applications, each is specifically designed for a different purpose. At NYC Smile Design, all of our restorations are cosmetically appealing and blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, enhancing both the strength and beauty of your smile for years to come.

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Advantages of Porcelain Inlays and Onlays

As mentioned above, porcelain inlays and onlays are a great solution for when your teeth need intermediary restorations. They offer many advantages, including:

  • Custom fitting: Inlays and onlays require minimal preparation and preserve as much of your tooth as possible. By using impressions of your existing tooth, a mold is created that will fit tightly to your tooth.
  • Natural look: The porcelain used matches your existing tooth color and is unlikely to fade over time as resin fillings can.
  • Easy cleaning: Because of their precise fit, inlays and onlays are just like your natural teeth, while also being less bulky than dental crowns, making brushing and flossing an easy process. They are also stain-resistant.
  • Natural feel: When correctly made they feel and function just as your natural teeth.
  • Strength: Once bonded to your tooth, the porcelain inserts add strength and support to the damaged tooth.
  • Long-lasting: The porcelain material is quite durable and made to last a long time.
  • Safe: The porcelain material does not contract or expand with hot or cold foods and drinks, meaning they will not crack your teeth.

Caring for Your Porcelain Crowns, Onlays and Inlays

Maintaining the longevity and beauty of your porcelain crowns, onlays, or inlays, involves specific care strategies that will help ensure they last for many years. Here are some essential tips for taking care of your porcelain crowns:

Daily Oral Hygiene

  1. Brushing and Flossing: It's crucial to brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Use non-abrasive toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid scratching the porcelain. When flossing, be gentle around the crown to prevent dislodging the edges of the inlay or onlay. 
  2. Consider investing in Proclaim: The custom revolutionary way to irrigate your teeth and gums. More information can be found HERE.  
  3. Rinsing: Incorporate an alcohol-free fluoride mouthwash into your daily routine. This will help reduce plaque buildup and prevent decay around the crown margins. 

Regular Dental Check-ups

  • Professional Cleaning: Schedule regular visits to NYC Smile Design for professional cleanings and examinations. These check-ups allow Dr. Tabib and Dr. Mello to monitor the condition of your porcelain restorations and the overall health of your mouth.
  • Early Detection: Regular dental exams are crucial for detecting any issues early on, such as crown loosening or gum disease, which can affect the longevity of your crowns.

Eating Habits

  • Avoid Hard Foods: While porcelain restorations are durable, they are not indestructible. Avoid chewing hard foods such as ice, hard candies, or nuts directly with your crowned teeth to prevent cracking.
  • Sticky Foods: Be cautious with sticky foods that can pull at the restoration, potentially leading to displacement.

Other Considerations

  • Night Guards: If you grind your teeth at night,  your dentist at NYC Smile Design may recommend a night guard. Grinding can damage porcelain restorations, and a guard can protect them from excessive wear.
  • Avoid Harmful Habits: Refrain from using your teeth to open packaging, bite nails, or hold objects. These habits can place undue stress on your restorations and lead to damage.

By following these care guidelines, you can help ensure that your porcelain crowns, onlays, or inlays remain functional and aesthetically pleasing for years to come. Dr. Tabib and Dr. Mello at NYC Smile Design are always available to provide advice and support in maintaining the health of your restored teeth.


The fees for porcelain crowns, onlays, and inlays are generally similar, but in New York City, they can range from $1,550 to $4,500 per restoration. Several factors contribute to this variation in cost:

Skill Level of the Practitioner

Highly experienced and specialized dentists often charge more for their expertise and advanced techniques, ensuring a higher quality outcome.

Skill and Artistic Talent of the Lab Technician

The creation of porcelain restorations involves not just technical skill but also artistic ability. A skilled lab technician can craft restorations that look exceptionally natural and blend seamlessly with your existing teeth, which can affect the overall cost.

The Complexity of the Clinical Condition

 More complex dental issues may require additional work, such as building up the tooth structure, managing bite alignment, or ensuring the restoration fits perfectly. These factors can increase the time and effort required, thereby influencing the cost.

At NYC Smile Design, we ensure that all our restorations are not only functional but also cosmetically appealing, fitting seamlessly into your smile to provide both strength and beauty for years to come.

Ready For Porcelain Restorations?

At NYC Smile Design, preserving and enhancing the natural integrity of your teeth is our utmost priority. With decades of expertise, Dr. Ramin Tabib and Dr. Elisa Mello have been at the forefront of cosmetic dentistry in Manhattan since 1995, always integrating the latest advancements to perfect your smile. If you are considering the strength and beauty of porcelain restorations to restore your smile, we are here to help.


Expand Your Knowledge

The NYC Smile Design Learning Center page is your go-to resource for comprehensive and insightful information on cosmetic dentistry, offering expert guidance from Dr. Elisa Mello and Dr. Ramin Tabib to help you understand the wide array of dental treatments available, ensuring you make informed decisions for your smile makeover journey.


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