Why Metal Crowns Are Not Always The Best Choice

A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity threatens the ongoing health of a tooth. Technological advances are leading to professionals replacing the expensive metals in crowns by less costly zirconium oxide, polyether ether ketone (PEEK), and lithium disilicate (LDS) glass-ceramic materials that are highly durable and appear more like one’s own teeth. LDS has a durable crystalline structure with coloration, opalescence, and translucence that makes it hard to distinguish from a natural tooth.

What are Metal Crowns?

Metal crowns generally make use of gold alloys or base metal alloys like that of chromium or nickel. If compared to the other crown types with metal, minimal amount of tooth structure has to be removed and wearing out of adjacent teeth is also minimal. Since these crowns are made of metals, they can withstand chewing and biting forces well and last for over a very long period. They hardly break or chip off. The key drawback of metal crowns is their metallic color. They are best suited for restoring hidden molars.

Metal Crowns

The most significant advantage of metal crowns is their tremendous strength.

  • Crowns made completely of gold are of very good quality.
  • Metal crowns cause minimal wearing of the surrounding teeth as compared to others.
  • Metal crowns require very little amount of filling for the tooth.
  • Metal crowns last for a very long period and resist chipping and breaking better than other types of crown.
  • They are very durable and are used for the restoration of hidden teeth.

These are best suitable for patients who have strong chewing habits and are likely to clench and grind their teeth often. Thus, metal crowns are suited for the back teeth.

Porcelain Crowns

Although metal crowns are still a viable option for treatments in dental offices, porcelain crowns have several advantages over metal alloy crowns. These advantages include:

  • Improved appearance. Porcelain crowns are tooth colored, smooth and blend in almost invisibly with natural teeth. Their more natural appearance is extremely helpful for patients who require dental work in the front of their mouth when any other type of crown would be easy to see.
  • Natural feeling. Along with being visually appealing, porcelain dental crowns also feel more natural than other options. The dentist can custom design porcelain crowns to fit the shape and appearance of a patient’s natural teeth. The durability and feel of porcelain crowns resemble that of natural teeth, which helps them blend perfectly with natural teeth in all aspects.
  • Durable and strong. Although many patients may not realize it, porcelain crowns are nearly as strong as natural tooth enamel, which is one of the hardest materials on the human body. Porcelain crowns withstand years of wear, and unlike porcelain veneers, crowns are sturdy enough to repair broken teeth or replace missing teeth as part of a dental implant or bridge.

Which Dental Crown is Right for Me?

Dental crowns offer secure, lasting protection, as well as functional support. They are often required for teeth that have been harmed by an advanced cavity, and they can be used to take care of a tooth that incurs physical harm. Your different teeth serve different functions, and can face different degrees of stress. Your dentist can determine what material should be used for your crown based on the tooth being treated. If you need to support a back tooth, a metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal crown can be more appropriate. However, you may want something that will blend in better with your surrounding teeth if you need a crown for a tooth that is more prominent in your smile. An all-porcelain crown can provide the appropriate restorative dental care for a tooth without disrupting your appearance.