Dental crowns are an ideal way to protect weak teeth, reducing the risk of the tooth breaking. However, while metal dental crowns may have once been the norm, today there are many materials from which you can choose. If you believe you may need a dental crown, check out these four options to consider.
Metal crowns can be made from many different types of metal, but they are usually an alloy, including gold alloy crowns (noble metal) and metal alloy crowns (non-noble metal).
Metal crowns are extremely strong, making them ideal for molars and pre-molars because these teeth withstand a lot of pressure from chewing food and grinding your teeth at night. They are one of the more affordable options, starting at about $600, and insurance usually covers some of the cost.
Metal crowns, however, are not as attractive as healthy teeth. For some people, this may not be an issue, or they may want the look of gold/metal teeth. Metal crowns cannot be colored to match the rest of your teeth, which is another reason they are common on back teeth.
Composite crowns are made from a special composite resin material, which is durable (but not as durable as metal). The biggest benefit of composite crowns over metal is their look. Composite crowns are tooth-colored, so even if you smile, people may not be able to tell you have a crown at all.
These types of crowns may not be best on front teeth. While they are less noticeable than metal crowns, they don't look like natural tooth tissue, making them more noticeable on front teeth.
Composite crowns are also an affordable option, and your insurance may cover some of the cost. However, depending on your policy, your insurance may only cover composite crowns on back teeth.
If you want the best-looking crowns possible, all-porcelain crowns are the way to go. These crowns are made completely from a special porcelain material, which looks almost exactly like healthy tooth tissue.
Porcelain crowns are also better for people with sensitivities or allergies to metal. Because they are so aesthetically pleasing, many people use all-porcelain crowns to give their smile a total makeover by correcting:
- Stains resistant to teeth whitening
- Cracks and chips
- Mild overcrowding
- Mildly rotated teeth
- Mild gaps
- Uneven teeth
All-porcelain crowns, however, are the least durable choice, so they may not be great on molars. However, they are great for front teeth, which aren't exposed to the same pressure. All-porcelain crowns are also the most expensive, costing at least $800. If you grind your teeth at night, you may need a special mouth guard to protect your crowns from chipping or cracking.
If you love the look of porcelain crowns, you're in luck. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look almost as great as all-porcelain crowns, but they are strong enough for back teeth too.
Like all-porcelain crowns, they can be used to repair one tooth or give you an entire smile makeover. They are a little more affordable, but like all-porcelain crowns, they may not be covered by insurance, especially on back teeth.
One problem, however, with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns is that the metal may begin to show. Around the base of the crown, the metal may bleed through, and if your gums recede from poor oral hygiene and the metal, more metal becomes exposed. For this reason, dentist don't usually recommend porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns on front teeth.
Metal crowns offer great durability, but porcelain crowns will give you the best-looking smile. If you are ready to repair or restore your smile, contact us at University Dental P.A. today, so we can schedule your first appointment toward a healthier smile.