Do you have a dental crown that has a dark or dead-looking colour, or is developing a black line where it meets your gum?
Chances are, you have a porcelain fused to metal crown that was originally chosen due to its inherent strength. Until recently the materials in ceramic crowns were not strong enough to be used without a supporting metal coping underneath, but it is this metal that often compromises the beauty of the crown.
Crowns are artificial caps that cover the entire visible portion of the tooth to restore their shape, size, strength and appearance. They are commonly used for teeth that are very weak, worn down, cracked, heavily decayed or damaged, or as protection following a root canal treatment. Numerous types of crowns are now available to function adequately as teeth, but they vary greatly in their appearance quality.
In the early and mid 20th century all-metal crowns were the standard. While durable, they could be less than eye-pleasing. More life-like dental porcelain existed, but it had brittle tendencies and was prone to shattering under chewing stress.
A crown was then developed that combined the strength of metal with the attractiveness of porcelain – a porcelain fused to metal or “PFM” crown. These have a metal substructure overlaid with an outer shell of porcelain that is cemented over the tooth.
The PFM reigned as the most widely used crown until about 10 years ago and was the gold standard. By then vastly improved forms of porcelain reinforced with stronger materials like leucite had made an all-ceramic crown possible. These have rapidly become the most commonly used crowns today – they are beautifully life-like yet durable and without the need for a metal base. That dark hue is absent and if your gum eventually recedes through age or perhaps from brushing too hard, there is no dark line to be exposed.
Depending on the size and location of a back tooth, a full gold crown may still sometimes be used, but even in the back, tooth-coloured zirconia crowns are often used today. All-ceramic crowns are preferred by most dentists and specialist restorative dentists, particularly in the front of the mouth.
Today’s well-crafted all-ceramic crowns not only function well, they look and blend seamlessly with the rest of the natural teeth, so you can have crowns that are not only stronger, but look more beautiful and natural too.
Smile Design Christchurch offers the most advanced technology and technique in crowns available. See examples in our Smile Results gallery.
Page Published by Dr Nathan Lewis on 25 Jul 2019 11:08 am
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