If you’ve suffered significant damage or decay to one or more teeth, or if you’re not happy with how your teeth look, dental crowns are a safe and effective way to restore your smile and keep your teeth working the way they’re meant to. But not all crowns are created equal, and getting the right kind of crown could be the difference between maintaining great oral health for years to come – or having to schedule another expensive procedure. Your Tucson dentist will be able to help you select the crown that best meets your needs. But how can you tell if the crown you’re planning to get is the right one for you? Here’s what you need to know.
Ceramics: The Most Aesthetically Pleasing Crowns
Ceramic crowns are a widely popular crown option because the porcelain material used in ceramics closely resembles the color of natural teeth, and can blend in with the rest of your teeth to make your smile look natural. The natural look makes ceramic crowns an excellent choice for upper front teeth. However, ceramic crowns are the most fragile type of crown, which means it’s not recommended to use them for anything other than restoring front teeth. Ceramics are also expensive, and can cost up to 20% more than other types of crowns.
Porcelain-Metal Crowns Combine Aesthetics with Durability
Porcelain-metal crowns are an effective alternative to all-ceramic crowns that offer comparable aesthetic benefits without the extra cost. Porcelain-metal crowns are also much more durable, as the metal lining is an excellent reinforcement. However, porcelain-metal crowns may show a metal edge in the event that your gumline recedes, which will change the appearance of your teeth. Porcelain-metal crowns are also vulnerable to fractures, and if they are inserted improperly, they may cause wear and tear on the surrounding teeth.
There is a specific kind of porcelain-metal crown on the market, called a pressed-to-metal crown, which provides all the benefits of porcelain-metal crowns without any of the limitations. Manufacturers claim that these crowns are up to 5 times stronger and 2 times more chip resistant than traditional porcelain-metal crowns. However, pressed-to-metal crowns are relatively new on the market and don’t have the same long history of safe and effective use that other kinds of crowns have. Further testing and observation will be required to determine what vulnerabilities these crowns may have.
Gold Alloys Protect Surrounding Teeth and Prevent Fractures
Gold alloy crowns are made of a metallic mixture that can include copper, platinum, and nickel. The exact mixture depends on the specific crown in question. The greatest advantage of gold alloy crowns is their incredible strength – gold crowns don’t break or chip, and have a high longevity. Gold crowns also create minimal wear on surrounding teeth.
However, the high quality comes at a cost. Gold is an expensive metal, which means fabricating a gold crown costs more than fabricating a porcelain crown. Gold crowns also, obviously, change the aesthetics of your smile. But if you aren’t concerned about changing the appearance of your teeth and you have the money to spend, a gold crown is a highly functional restoration.
Base Metal Alloys: Ideal in Cases of Severe Decay
Crowns made of base metal alloys contain a mixture of metals – typically nickel, chromium, cobalt, and beryllium. The metals used in base metal alloys are typically selected for their strength and high resistance to corrosion, which makes base metal alloys a highly durable crown material. They are also gentle on neighboring teeth, and they require your Tucson dentist to remove very little of your existing tooth structure. It’s these factors that make base metal alloy crowns perfectly suited for patients with extensive tooth decay. However, base metal alloys can cause allergic reactions in patients with a metal sensitivity, and they don’t mimic the appearance of natural teeth.
Ultimately, the kind of crown that is best for you will depend on your specific needs and circumstances. Your local Tucson dentist will be able to help you understand what you need in a crown. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Badie Dental at (520) 325-3022.