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What Are Dental Crowns Made Of?

The materials utilized in dental crowns play a pivotal role in determining their durability, appearance, and suitability for individual patients. From traditional metals to modern ceramics and composite resins, each material offers unique properties and advantages. Understanding these materials empowers patients to make informed decisions alongside their dentists, ensuring optimal outcomes for their oral health.

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What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are caps that protect a damaged tooth and restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. They’re like armor for your teeth, shielding them from further harm while improving their function and aesthetics. There are several reasons why your dentist might recommend a dental crown. These include protecting a weak tooth from breaking, restoring a broken or severely decayed tooth, covering a dental implant, or supporting a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t much left.

Selecting the right material for your dental crown is crucial for ensuring its longevity, appearance, and compatibility with your natural teeth. Factors such as durability, aesthetics, and biocompatibility should be considered when choosing between materials like metal alloys, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), all-ceramic, and zirconia. Your dentist can help you weigh these factors and choose the material that best suits your needs.

Materials Used in Dental Crowns

1. Porcelain

Porcelain crowns are known for their natural appearance, mimicking the translucency of real teeth. They are stain-resistant and biocompatible, making them popular for those seeking aesthetic enhancements.

Porcelain crowns offer excellent aesthetics and are suitable for front teeth. However, they are prone to chipping and may not be as durable as other materials. They’re best for patients with a low bite force who prioritize appearance over durability.

Patients with healthy gums and a stable bite who desire natural-looking restorations often opt for porcelain crowns. They’re ideal for front teeth where aesthetics are paramount.

2. Metal

Metals like gold, silver, and nickel are commonly used in dental crowns due to their strength and durability. Gold crowns, in particular, are known for their longevity and biocompatibility.

Metal crowns are incredibly durable and require minimal tooth structure removal. However, their metallic appearance may not appeal to everyone, especially for visible teeth.

Metal crowns are often recommended for molars and premolars due to their strength and ability to withstand heavy biting forces. They’re also suitable for patients with a history of teeth clenching or grinding.

3. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM)

PFM crowns combine metal strength with porcelain aesthetics, making them suitable for both front and back teeth. They have a metal substructure covered with porcelain for a natural look. However, they may exhibit a dark line at the gumline over time, compromising aesthetics.

PFM crowns are suitable for patients who desire the strength of metal crowns with improved aesthetics. They’re commonly used for molars and premolars but can also be used for front teeth.

4. Zirconia

Zirconia crowns are made from a strong, tooth-colored material that closely resembles natural teeth. They are highly durable and resistant to chipping and staining.

Zirconia crowns offer exceptional strength and durability, making them suitable for posterior teeth. However, they may lack the translucency of natural teeth, affecting their aesthetics.

Zirconia crowns are ideal for patients with a high bite force or those who grind their teeth. They’re a popular choice for molars and premolars where strength is paramount.

5. Composite resin

Composite resin crowns are made from a tooth-colored material that can be customized to match the natural color of your teeth. They offer good aesthetics and can be repaired if damaged.

Composite resin crowns are less expensive than other types and can be repaired easily. However, they may not be as durable as other materials and can be prone to staining over time.

Composite resin crowns are suitable for patients seeking affordable and aesthetic restorations for front teeth. They’re often used for temporary or provisional crowns but may not be suitable for long-term use in posterior teeth subjected to heavy biting forces.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the best material for a crown?

The best material for a crown depends on various factors such as the location of the tooth, aesthetic preferences, and budget. However, in terms of durability and strength, materials like zirconia and metal alloys (such as gold) are often considered excellent choices for crowns used in posterior teeth where chewing forces are greater. For front teeth requiring natural aesthetics, porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns are preferred. Ultimately, the best material for your crown should be determined in consultation with your dentist, considering your individual needs and circumstances.

2. What type of crown is the cheapest?

Generally, metal crowns tend to be the most cost-effective option. Among metal crowns, those made from base metals like nickel or cobalt-chromium alloys are typically the cheapest. However, it’s essential to note that while metal crowns may be more affordable initially, they may not offer the same aesthetic appeal as porcelain or composite resin crowns. The cost of a crown also depends on factors such as geographic location, dentist’s fees, and any additional procedures required.

3. What foods to avoid with a crown?

While dental crowns are durable, certain foods can pose a risk of damaging or dislodging them. Sticky or hard foods such as caramel, taffy, nuts, hard candies, and ice cubes should be avoided as they can cause the crown to crack or come loose. Additionally, it’s advisable to limit the consumption of foods that are extremely hot or cold, as sudden temperature changes can potentially weaken the bond between the crown and the underlying tooth. It’s always best to practice caution and follow any specific dietary recommendations provided by your dentist to ensure the longevity of your crown.

What Are Dental Crowns Made Of

Expert Dental Crown Services Near Me

Get ready to love your smile again with dental crowns from Roots Dental in Portland, Oregon. Our friendly team is here to make sure you feel comfortable and cared for every step of the way. Whether you need to fix a damaged tooth or just want to boost your confidence, our modern approach and skilled team will have you smiling in no time. Contact us today or book your appointment online for dental crowns, or check out our All Locations page to find the Roots Dental offices closest to you.

Learn more about Crowns and Bridges.