Structural and Aesthetic Benefits of Porcelain Crowns
When you’ve lost much of a tooth and it can still be saved, your dentist can give you metal crowns, porcelain crowns, or crowns that are made from metal with an outer layer of porcelain fused to the metal substrate. Dentists can also try rebuilding the tooth in-office using a tooth-coloured material. The latter is the least efficient but also the cheapest. It isn’t as strong and will only look natural at a glance.
Getting Stronger with Porcelain, Metal or a Combination
Proper crowns are made in a dental laboratory to perfectly match your existing teeth.
Metal is obviously the strongest option, but aesthetically, it’s not the best choice. The reason is obvious, metal will never match your existing teeth.
However, if we’re dealing with a molar, we often recommend metal crowns because molars are less obvious and because they must tolerate strong forces.
Porcelain isn’t as strong as metal, but it’s remarkable sturdy all the same. The big advantage of porcelain crowns is that they look so natural – they’re indistinguishable from natural teeth.
Metal and porcelain crowns are an attempt to get the best of both worlds out of a crown, but while they aren’t as obvious as metal crowns, they also don’t look as good as all-porcelain crowns. And although they are strong, their weak point lies in the interface between porcelain and metal.
Zirconia porcelain crowns are a new addition to the crown options available. However, despite advances, their appearance is not yet natural enough for front teeth and, when they are coated with ceramic, they are not as durable.
Looking Good, Working Well
When dentists recommend crowns, they will recommend the materials they think most suitable for the circumstances. Concern for a natural look that can stand up to scrutiny will usually be a priority for front teeth, while achieving the greatest strength possible will be the priority for rear teeth.
Whatever the choice, you can be sure that a properly-fitted crown will allow you to forget about your damaged tooth. Meanwhile, the perfectly-fitting crown will protect the remainder of your natural tooth from decay and further mechanical damage.
With the structure of your tooth restored, you will eat normally and brush your teeth in the same way you always did. And when you smile, those porcelain crowns will look as good, if not better, than your natural teeth did.
Porcelain Crowns: Conclusion
Porcelain crowns offer greater strength than composite tooth reconstruction. They also have the benefit of looking completely natural. Despite advances in dental materials, the porcelain crown still represents the high-road combination of strength and aesthetics for which most dentists strive.
From a patient perspective, a tooth with a porcelain crown is indistinguishable from healthy teeth and the structural strength of porcelain is sufficient to allow them to use and care for their teeth as normal.
A final disclaimer needs to be included. Teeth grinding, hard foods, and using teeth as tools can cause normal teeth to break. Porcelain crowns will be a little more vulnerable to these abuses. So, despite the many benefits of porcelain crowns, patients will need to eliminate any tooth-damaging habits to achieve the 10-to 15-year lifespan usually cited as being the average for porcelain crowns.
If you’d like to find out more about dental restoration techniques as they would apply in your circumstances, contact us for an appointment