Dental crowns are a versatile restoration that can be fabricated from several different materials, each with particular advantages and disadvantages.
Crowns are used to replace missing or severely damaged tooth structures, whether the source of damage is due to decay, periodontal disease, or trauma.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover placed over a tooth to restore it to its natural shape and size. It covers the entire visible portion of the tooth, from the gum line to the tip of the tooth.
Your dentist will determine whether you're a good candidate for a dental crown and which type of material best suits your needs during your initial appointment.
Common materials for dental crowns are ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, gold alloys, and base metal alloys.
Ceramic crowns are among the most popular choices for dental crowns because of their many advantages over other materials.
Advantages of Ceramic Crowns
Outstanding strength. Ceramic has great tensile strength. This means that ceramic can withstand great force without breaking or fracturing.
High resistance to fracture. Ceramic will typically not fracture under regular chewing forces, even if cracks are in the enamel layer underneath the restoration.
Excellent wear resistance. Because ceramics are harder than certain other materials used in restorations, they'll generally last longer.
Ceramic is often used on teeth that are visible when smiling because they look natural and blend well with the rest of your teeth. Additionally, ceramic maintains its color well throughout its lifespan, so you don't have to worry as much about discoloration or stains with other restoration materials.
A porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) dental crown is another restoration that can be used to cover a damaged tooth. The advantage of this material is that it’s both durable and natural looking.
PFM crowns are made with a thin layer of precious metal, fused with a covering of porcelain. The advantage of PFM crowns is that they’re strong enough to withstand biting forces while having all the benefits of porcelain, such as being highly resistant to wear and tear.
PFM material is available in different shades and textures to match the natural color and feel of your existing teeth.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can be a good choice for restoring teeth that have been worn down by grinding or clenching (bruxism).
A gold alloy dental crown is typically made of alloys containing gold and other metals such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium.
The unique properties of gold make it an ideal material for dental crowns. It's naturally resistant to corrosion from acids in the mouth and is highly biocompatible, which means it won't cause irritation or irritation to your gums and surrounding tissues.
Gold alloy dental crowns have several advantages over other materials used in crowns:
- They're stronger than porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns because they have a higher tensile strength than PFM crowns made with other materials. This means they're less likely to break or crack under pressure.
- They can be more durable than ceramic crowns because they withstand a great deal of bite force and generally don't chip or crack as easily as ceramics do when chewing or biting down on hard foods like apples or nuts.
Base Metal Alloys
The most common base metals used in crowns are nickel-titanium (NiTi) and stainless steel.
A base metal alloy is a combination of two or more metals that are mixed to produce an alloy with specific properties. Many different types of alloys are available, each with unique characteristics. A common base metal alloy used in dentistry is Nickel-Titanium (NiTi).
This type of titanium alloy contains between 50% and 95% nickel, while the remaining portion consists of titanium. NiTi has many advantages over other materials used in dental restorations, such as gold or porcelain, including:
- Strength: NiTi has much higher tensile strength than gold or porcelain material, making it less likely to fracture under pressure from biting forces.
- Long-Term Stability: NiTi is highly stable when exposed to heat and chemicals like fluoride.
- Low Coefficient of Friction: This makes it easier for your dentist to position the crown during treatment.
- Lightweight: NiTi restorations are very lightweight compared to other types of restorations.
Dental Crowns on the Upper West Side
Dental crowns are made of a wide range of materials that allow them to suit the individual needs of every patient.