Ceramic and Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns were once the state-of-the-art for tooth-colored crowns. They were the most often placed esthetic crown for perhaps 50 years. They did have some drawbacks. They were cemented, rather than bonded, to teeth. Over time, cement, being water-soluble, would dissolve out from beneath these crowns, allowing recurrent decay to form. Another consideration with the porcelain-fused-to-metal option is they tended to show the underlying metal or gold margin at the gum line as gums receded over time. Because half the crown thickness was metal and a half was porcelain, sometimes the porcelain would crack off of the metal under chewing forces.
All-Ceramic crowns have now become the state-of-the-art for esthetic crowns. The predominant material choices for all-ceramic crowns are zirconia or lithium disilicate. They provide a metal-free aesthetic option with a number of benefits.
By eliminating the need for the metal core, a much more aesthetic all-ceramic crown can be created with double the thickness of the ceramic material. This makes it a stronger treatment choice in areas with limited space. Additionally, the elimination of the metal core allows for light transmission through the porcelain for better optical, life-like properties and a higher level of aesthetics. Ceramic crowns are bonded to teeth, rather than cemented, eliminating the cement dissolving problem.
All-ceramic materials continue to evolve in strength and durability, but caution should still be exercised for areas of the mouth requiring very heavy function. If an area is too constricted to allow for an adequate thickness for an all-ceramic crown, then an all-metal crown should be placed instead.
If you, your family or friends need dental care, we would be honored to provide you with state-of-the-art dental care in our modern dental practice. Refer someone you love to someone you trust!
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