An Introduction To 3 Common Dental Crown Materials

Dentist Blog

Dental crowns protect and restore cracked, chipped, or decayed teeth so you can enjoy a more natural smile. Crowns are also essential for holding dental bridges in place and covering dental implants.

If your dentist recommends a crown for tooth restoration, you will have a decision to make: Which type of crown should you choose? Here's an introduction to three common dental crown materials to help you make the best choice for your teeth.

1. Gold Crowns 

Gold has been used in restorative dentistry for hundreds of years. Modern gold crowns are actually made of a gold alloy. While gold makes up a majority of the compound, it also contains base metals like tin and zinc. Pure gold is soft and malleable, so using a gold alloy creates a stronger, more durable crown.

Gold crowns have fallen in popularity somewhat because dental patients frequently prefer more natural-looking crowns. However, you shouldn't overlook the benefits of gold for dental crowns. A gold crown is virtually impervious to cracking and can potentially last a lifetime. Gold crowns are a good choice for back molars that aren't visible when you smile.

2. Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns provide an incredible likeness to real teeth. Porcelain resembles the color and luster of dental enamel so closely that most people won't notice you have a crown—even on a front tooth. Porcelain is a good choice for dental patients with metal allergies, for whom crowns made of gold and other metals aren't an option.

Porcelain is durable enough to withstand the wear and tear of normal chewing and speaking. However, people with porcelain crowns should be careful when eating hard foods like nuts and seeds, and avoid using their teeth to open packages or bottles. Taking care of porcelain crowns can help them last a decade or more before they need to be replaced.

3. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns offer many of the benefits of both metal and porcelain crowns. These crowns consist of an outer shell of porcelain reinforced with an inner layer made of gold, platinum, or base metals.

The metal layer in these hybrid crowns is bonded to the tooth with dental cement to create a durable prosthesis that may last for decades. At the same time, the porcelain shell provides an excellent resemblance to a natural tooth.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns have a few downsides, but small issues can arise due to the thinness of the porcelain layer. For example, the metal sub-layer may be slightly visible through the semi-translucent porcelain. In rare cases, the porcelain shell may wear down and reveal metal before the crown reaches the end of its functional life.

The material a dental crown is made of has a big impact on its durability, longevity, and aesthetics. Talk to your dentist if you have other questions about the best type of dental crown for your specific needs.


31 May 2022

Getting Your Toddler to the Dentist Once and For All

Toddlers should see a dentist for the first time by the age of twelve months or by the time their first tooth comes in. But if you are a parent with toddlers anything like mine, the prospect of going to the dentist (let alone anywhere!) can be pretty intimidating. My kids were a handful growing up. They had tantrums any time we would have to sit in a waiting room, and they refused to get in the dentist's chair during their first few visits. So, I had to employ a professional to help me make the transition to finally getting them in that dental chair without all the screaming and crying. I know I'm not the only parent in this situation, so I decided to share the information I've learned with others who can use a little help. You can find all my advice right here on these pages!