What is the LAVA all-ceramic system?
LAVA crowns are special because they are made up of a very special material LAVA zirconia produced by the reputed 3M. This is a porcelain material and its special composition is the key to the special properties possessed by crowns made of LAVA zirconia. It is very translucent like the natural tooth enamel, and hence LAVA crowns will give your teeth a very natural look. The material also possesses excellent strength against chipping and cracking. LAVA crowns are the rage in cosmetic dentistry for their esthetics and durability.
Benefits of LAVA crowns?
The LAVA crowns are recommended by cosmetic dentists in the following situations:
- Discolored and stained teeth – Once you get LAVA crowns for your teeth you can forget about discoloration and staining. No need for repeated whitening.
- Crooked Teeth – Crooked teeth look very bad, especially when in the front. LAVA crowns are an excellent solution for improving aesthetics of crooked teeth.
- Root Canal Treated Teeth – Root canal operation leaves a tooth rather weak and vulnerable because it has been hollowed out. LAVA crowns will give your tooth strength so that it can resist the chewing forces better.
- Fractured Teeth – Another befitting application of LAVA crowns is on teeth that have got fractured or chipped for any reason. LAVA crowns will restore, strengthen and even improve their looks and give them physical protection from further deterioration.
Indications of LAVA system
The LAVA system can be used for the fabrication of following prostheses:
- Front and back dental crowns
- Up to 6 unit dental bridges
- Implant copings
Preparation of LAVA Crowns
Quick preparation is another important advantage of LAVA crowns. It takes a three-step procedure to prepare our crowns. It can be completed in a single visit.
- Tooth preparation - Your teeth are prepared to receive the crown. This involves trimming a very thin of material from your teeth to compensate for the crown thickness.
- Digitized impression - A digitized impression of the teeth is taken and fed to the computer. The computer helps the dentist design a suitable crown for you. Once the shape is finalized and accepted by the dentist it is saved into the computer. This is called CAD (computer-aided design). The shape is fed to the CAM (computer-aided manufacture) software which controls a co-located milling machine to produce your crown from a block of the LAVA material. The manufacturing is completed while you wait in the office.
- Checking and fitting - The dentist checks your crown for integrity and fitting. If it is considered good, the crown is cemented into place. Sometimes, your dentist may fit the crown temporarily to ensure proper seating, and the prosthesis is permanently attached in the next appointment.
Benefits of the LAVA crowns?
LAVA crowns have special advantages over other types:
- Well-matched natural look – LAVA zirconia is a translucent material. Thus, light is reflected by the underlying dentine in your teeth to give them a very natural appearance matching that of your natural teeth. This makes LAVA crowns very suitable for restoration, especially, of front teeth.
- All-ceramic solution – These crowns are totally ceramic. Ceramic-fused-to-metal crowns often show a black line near the gum line. LAVA crowns are free from this defect.
- Durability – The LAVA zirconia is a very durable material produced by 3M. Crowns milled out of a single block of this zirconia possess unmatched strength against crack and chipping.
- Quick manufacture – LAVA zirconia is eminently suited to in-office milling. This means a dentist’s office equipped with CAD/CAM equipment can give you a crown in one visit. The machine will mill your crown under computer control while you sit and watch TV. The crowns can be cemented immediately.
- Conserve tooth structure – When applying a crown, some material must be trimmed off the tooth surfaces to allow for the crown thickness. LAVA crowns can be made thin because of their strength. Hence, most of the tooth structure is preserved.
- Multiple Options – the LAVA system can be used not only to manufacture all-ceramic crowns, but they are also indicated for the fabrication of ceramic inlays, onlays and overlays.
How much does a Lava crown cost?
Like other newer crown types - Zirconium, Emax - the price of Lava crowns are higher than traditional (e.g. porcelain fused to metal) crowns.
Here is a rough estimate on the usual prices of Lava crowns in different countries. Please keep in mind that the exact price of tooth crowns depends on many factors, so you might see lower and (much) higher prices too.