Types of dental crowns
Full Metal Crowns
Full metal crowns have been used for hundreds of years, often using softer, more malleable metals such as gold and silver. Nowadays, with advancements in dentistry and technology, patients are able to benefit from a wider range of full metal dental crowns which can include materials such as palladium, chromium and nickel or an alloy between different metals. Full metal dental crowns have an advantage compared to other types of dental crowns – less material from the tooth itself needs to be removed before placing the crown and once it’s set it will remain in place for many years, being able to withstand a great deal of force and pressure. Full metal crowns are perfect for patients suffering from bruxism or patients requiring a more affordable dental crown. Full metal crowns are the cheapest solution, making them quite popular for the back teeth, such as the molars. They are also used in certain cases where porcelain crowns cannot be applied due to various reasons.
Porcelain Fused to Metal Dental Crowns
Porcelain fused to metal dental crowns have a thin metal sub-structure offering them increased durability. As opposed to full metal crowns, porcelain fused to metal crowns can have the colour of already existing adjacent teeth, making them more aesthetically pleasing. Porcelain crowns can be created through different techniques such as layering – where multiple layers of porcelain are placed over the metal sub-structure of the crown, making sure the crown itself offers the same translucency as the patient’s natural teeth. Porcelain crowns also offer multiple grades of aesthetic quality, as compared to all ceramic crowns for example. The only drawback of porcelain crowns is the fact that sometimes the metal sub-structure can be seen as a dark line at the base of the tooth, especially for patients with receding gum lines. Given their aesthetically pleasing look and durability, porcelain fused to metal dental crowns can be used for the back teeth as well as front teeth.
All Ceramic Crowns
All porcelain or all ceramic dental crowns provide the best aesthetic results in terms of translucency as well as colour, perfectly mimicking the look and shine of natural teeth. These crowns are also perfect for patients allergic to certain metals. Although pressed all ceramic crowns are not supported by a metal sub-structure, they are very durable and capable of withstanding pressure for many years – these crowns act as new layers over the patient’s real tooth, the only drawback being the amount of material which needs to be removed from the tooth before placing them. In certain cases, all ceramic crowns can be used for the front teeth.
Zirconia Dental Crowns
Zirconia crowns are somewhat similar to porcelain fused to metal crowns in the sense that porcelain is layered over a sub-structure – in this case the substructure being made out of zirconia. Zirconia is a very durable material which unlike metal is a bit translucent and white, making it better suited for use in dental restorations. Due to its strength, zirconia can also be used for the manufacture of implants as well. This material combined with porcelain will provide patients with the most aesthetically pleasing results as well as very high durability.
This content is written and reviewed by our medical content team in January, 2019.