If you’ve been prescribed a dental crown, whether it is to restore your smile after significant tooth decay or to prep your teeth for a dental bridge, you may be comparing the different materials available for this versatile dental restoration to determine which fits your oral health needs the best.
Depending on your dental health and lifestyle habits, your dentist may recommend a specific type of dental crown material to restore the appearance, functionality, strength, and durability of your premolars and molars.
Our informative guide can help you understand which dental crown material is most suitable for restoring your back teeth.
What Are Dental Crowns Used For?
Dental crowns can be used for restorative and cosmetic dentistry. They are typically used to restore a diseased or damaged tooth and to protect and extend the functionality of compromised teeth.
They are used to cap a root canal and dental implants. They can also disguise intrinsic stains on front teeth that cannot be removed with a tooth whitening treatment to help renew your confidence when you smile.
Dental Crown Materials
Crowns are usually made from silver, or other metal alloys, gold, ceramic compounds such as zirconia, ceramic and porcelain, and porcelain fused to metal (PFM).
Gold, Silver & Metal Alloys
Gold, silver, and metal alloys are more durable than other crown materials. A drawback to these materials is that they don’t blend in with your smile, making them a less favorable option unless placed on molars where they are less likely to be noticed.
Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM)
Porcelain fused to metal crowns provide a natural-looking method for restoring teeth. However, the metal beneath the porcelain can create a dark line at the gum line. To alleviate this, an opaquer layer can be added to hide the metal, making the crown look more realistic.
While not as durable as metal alloys, they are still strong and can endure the chewing force of the back teeth. Unfortunately, the porcelain can chip or crack, especially if you have bruxism or clench your teeth.
People with metal allergies or who prefer not to use metal compounds find porcelain or ceramic crowns the most viable options for restoring their teeth. Metal-free crowns are typically made of a ceramic material that is porcelain-based.
Metal-free crowns also reduce tooth sensitivity to hot and cold foods and liquids because they contain no metal.
Dentists recommend them because they are closer in shade to a natural tooth, making them an excellent option for your front teeth. Metal-free ceramic and porcelain dental crowns are built layer by layer, creating a strong restoration with a translucent luster similar to natural teeth for a realistic-looking restoration. These dental crowns are color-matched to your existing teeth for a seamless smile.
Newer ceramic materials for dental crowns offer even more durability enabling them to be used for back teeth. Ceramic-based zirconia crowns are a good choice for premolars and molars due to their strength.
How to Choose the Best Type of Crown
Besides knowing what crowns cost, the best way to determine the most suitable option for your back teeth is to discuss your treatment options with your dentist. Your dentist can explain the advantages and disadvantages of each type of material, whether it is gold crowns or metal-free crowns, and make a recommendation based on your specific oral needs.
To determine the best dental crown option, your dentist will consider:
- The location and function of the tooth
- How much of the tooth shows when smiling
- The color of the surrounding teeth
- The position of your gum tissue and gum line
- Whether you clench or grind your teeth
Your dentist must also consider the bite force of your molars when recommending a material for a dental crown. Your molars are designed to sustain significant force from chewing, grinding, and clenching, so your restoration needs to be up to the task.
Talk to Owens Cosmetic & Family Dentistry About Metal-Free Crowns
At Owens Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, we understand the importance of aesthetics when you smile and how metal restorations can adversely impact your self-confidence. That is why we offer all-ceramic porcelain dental crowns to our patients.
The layers of ceramic used to fabricate these crowns make them a great option for any location in your mouth. The layers of ceramic used to make the dental crowns can hold up to the bite force of premolars and molars and can even strengthen your bite so that you can chew with confidence.
If you are considering getting a metal-free crown or need to replace an old metal crown, contact our practice to schedule an appointment for an oral examination.
Our office strictly adheres to the ADA, CDC, and OSHA infection control and PPE recommendations for your peace of mind and safety. We use high-volume air filtration and purification units to keep our treatment rooms as safe as possible.