Dental Tips Blog


All Porcelain Crowns

Posted in Crowns

Older porcelain crowns often chip or wear, leaving the fused metal base exposed. The area of the crown near the gumlines often leaves an exposed metal line along the tooth as well. This can appear dark and grey, leaving the patient self conscious of how their smile appears.

There is a way to avoid metal showing when you smile. All-porcelain crowns are a type of dental restoration that does not use any metal base for its fabrication. The entire crown is made of tooth-colored material so that no matter where it is placed in the mouth, you will not have to worry about metal showing. This is beneficial for patients who grind their teeth, or need to have their bites adjusted.

All-porcelain crowns also appear more natural in color than traditional crowns. Because teeth are actually more than one shade, porcelain crowns can use two or even three shades throughout the tooth to make it a better match.

Crowns are essential in treating teeth with large, older, broken restorations or large areas of decay. When a tooth has broken down so much, then thin outer shell of enamel is not enough to support a filling. Instead, crowns cover the entire surface of the tooth allowing it to hold up to normal uses like chewing. This distributes the pressure equally over the tooth and allows it to last years to come.

Some people also find that they are sensitive to certain metals. Tissue irritation and bleeding may occur. Because all porcelain crowns contain no metal, they are a wonderful option for these patients.

If you are in need of a crown, or have metal crowns and are thinking of having them replaced, consider all porcelain crowns. They function just as efficiently as other crowns but are much more aesthetically pleasing and easier on the delicate gum tissues.


Indirect Restoration Alternatives

Restorative dentistry includes direct restorations such as filling and indirect restorations which refers to dental treatments for decayed, damaged, or missing teeth that require more than a filling.  Indirect restorations include crowns, caps, inlays and onlays and made in a dental laboratory.  Modern dentistry has developed a variety of materials for indirect restorations that provide patients and dentists with alternative to traditional dental materials.

Each type of material has its strengths and weaknesses and the choosing the right material involves consultation between the dentist and patient.  Various factors affect the choice of material including the cost, patient’s oral health, the load the tooth will bear, and aesthetics.

Porcelain (or ceramic) are popular materials for indirect restorations because their color and translucence is similar to that of natural teeth.  Porcelain has a high resistance to wear, but tends to wear the teeth opposite of the restored tooth.  In addition, porcelain is more prone to fracturing under pressure than other dental materials.

Porcelain fused to metal provides a stronger restoration that is less prone to fracture and has the aesthetic qualities of porcelain, but they can be sensitive to hot and cold.  Like all-porcelain, they can cause the opposing teeth to wear.

Composites don’t wear opposing teeth like porcelain.  They are also tooth colored, but lack the translucence of porcelain.  They are also not as strong as porcelain or metal restorations and tend to wear and discolor.

Metal alloys such as gold alloys and base metal (silver colored) alloys are strong, durable restorations that resist fracturing and wear while not causing excessive wear on opposing teeth.  Their primary drawback is that their color does not look like natural teeth.  Also, some patient experience sensitivity to hot and cold.


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