When choosing dental crowns to restore damaged teeth, you generally have two choices. Most dental practices offer all-ceramic crowns or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. The term ceramic usually refers to porcelain, a sturdy and attractive material.
Modern dental approaches have allowed dentists to create all-ceramic dental crowns that offer many benefits. Some of these benefits are unique to all-ceramic dental crowns.
Natural in appearance
Although porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are highly durable, they don't match natural teeth in appearance. Skilled dentists and ceramists can negate this issue, for instance, by removing more tooth structures to achieve better translucency. Overall, all-ceramic dental crowns are the more natural looking of the two types of crown.
With all-ceramic dental crowns, dentists can achieve a level of translucency similar to that of natural teeth. All-ceramic crowns also reflect and transmit light in a similar way to natural teeth. So once in place, an all-ceramic crown will be difficult to tell apart from the surrounding natural teeth. Because metal-fused-to-porcelain crowns need a thick layer of porcelain to hide the metal, they are more opaque.
Another problem with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns is that the underlying metal is sometimes visible, especially along the margin. Even if the metal is not visible at first, gum recession due to aging, poor oral hygiene, or gum disease, can eventually expose the metal. All-ceramic dental crowns do not have this problem.
Durable and long-lasting
The best quality of porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns is their durability. Standard all-ceramic dental crowns are less durable than ceramic crowns with metal in them. Because of this, dentists may need to make them thick to provide more durability. This requires the removal of additional tooth structures.
Modern advances in dentistry have made zirconium, a type of dental ceramic that is more durable than regular ceramic, available. Zirconium dental crowns look natural, and they are just as durable as porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns. The only downside is that zirconium dental crowns are more expensive than other types of crowns.
Metal-free and biocompatible
One problem that some dental patients suffer from is metal hypersensitivity. This means that their allergy to metals rules out porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Fortunately, dental patients with some degree of metal hypersensitivity can opt for all-ceramic crowns rather than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. All-ceramic crowns are biocompatible and don't cause allergic reactions in patients.
All-ceramic dental crowns are attractive, natural-looking, and durable. If you have a damaged tooth, an all-ceramic restoration might be the right dental restoration for you. For more information on ceramic crowns, contact a local dentist.