When you think of a porcelain crown, you might picture the classic porcelain-fused-to-metal restoration. Traditional porcelain crowns have a metal base covered with an opaquer and a porcelain layer. These crowns are strong and can last you a long time, but there’s a new kind of restoration that’s worth learning more about.
The Difference Between Full Porcelain and Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns have metal bases which make them strong, but also make them unattractive. The metal causes a slight darkening at the gum line which only gets worse over time as the gums recede. The porcelain covering the metal helps the crowns look a little better, but the capped teeth will still have an opaque and false appearance.
Many modern dental crowns are made purely with reinforced ceramic. These full porcelain or ceramic crowns don’t contain metal bases and they bond directly to the teeth. The materials used to make these crowns allow for variations in translucency and color to mimic the look of natural teeth. As a result, they look much better than traditional crowns.
Additionally, these all-porcelain crowns are very strong. For example, one specific material Dr. Marion uses called zirconia is strong enough to support dental bridgework without incorporating any metal.
How Dr. Marion Places Porcelain Crowns
When you see Dr. Marion for a crown, he will first anesthetize and then carefully trim your tooth. Next, he will scan your tooth to create a virtual impression of it. You’ll go home with a temporary crown to keep your tooth comfortable while you wait for your porcelain crown to be finished. Once it’s done, Dr. Marion will try it out on your tooth to see how it fits and how you like the look. If you love it, he’ll bond it to your tooth.
The Challenge of Full Porcelain
Placing the newer all-porcelain crowns requires an artistic eye and practiced technique. Some dentists prefer the traditional porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns because they are easier and faster to place. Zirconia and e.max crowns, the kinds Dr. Marion works with, take more time and skill since they involve lots of careful color matching and layering to achieve a realistic look. Despite this extra effort, Dr. Marion feels it’s worth it given the benefits of full porcelain restorations.
If you’re interested in restoring a dental implant with a porcelain crown or think your tooth needs a crown, Dr. Marion can take a look and make a recommendation. Call our office or fill out the Request an Appointment form to learn more.