When choosing the materials to be used for crowns, it can be extremely confusing. This is because there are three different options, and each has its own pros and cons. Before we take a look at them in turn, let’s just consider the issues that you will want to review with your dental professional as you make your decisions:
- How much tooth is removed? When you have a crown placed on a tooth it is often going to require that the decayed part of the tooth is removed, but there is also the need for the dental expert to remove some of the upper area of the tooth – also known as the crown – in order for the new (lab made) crown to be fitted.
- Can it be used on all teeth? Some crowns are meant to be used for molars or “back teeth”. You need to keep this in mind when discussing the options.
- Will it look good? Though esthetics is a secondary consideration, you will be wearing the crown for many years and you do need it to give your smile the appearance you desire. Ask the dentist about the esthetics of the different options.
- Is it the strongest possible for the location? Some crowns will not fracture while others still pose a serious risk. Some add strength to the tooth, and others will not. It is best to know which is going to give you the strength needed.
So, what are the options? They are:
- Gold – the most conservative in terms of the alterations to the tooth, and gold is a very “mouth friendly” material. It requires the least amount of tooth to be removed, and is a material that never fractures and is extremely “biocompatible” in the mouth as well as to the tooth. However, it is gold and this means it stands out from the surrounding white teeth which makes it most suitable for back teeth.
- Porcelain fused to metal – colored the same as a tooth, this also has the benefit of adding strength thanks to the metal base. Unfortunately, it asks for more of the tooth structure to be removed and it is not impervious to breaking or chipping. The design can also allow for the dark area of metal to be seen at the gum line.
- Porcelain – due to its great esthetics, this material is quickly becoming the most common. However, it may not offer the best solution. It asks for a lot of the tooth to be removed and it is a material that can fracture. However, it is the most versitile and can be used for any tooth without giving itself away as a crown.
Your dental expert will make suggestions about the right choices for your needs, and this is often the best advice to follow.