A dental crown is a prosthetic used to restore a damaged tooth and is commonly used to cover a dental implant or a tooth that has had a root canal. Your dentist will make an impression of your tooth, which is sent to a lab where a crown is made out of the material you choose. You'll be presented with several options for materials and, while some last longer, others looks better aesthetically. Here's what you need to know about three common crown materials.
Your dentist may recommend using porcelain if the damaged tooth is in the front. This is because porcelain is the most natural looking and can easily match the color of your existing teeth. Porcelain is also a good option if you have an allergy to metal and are unable to tolerate metal crowns. It's a strong material; although it does not last as long as some other options. You should plan to have your porcelain crown replaced every five to 10 years depending on your circumstances. Porcelain is vulnerable to chipping and breaking.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
Crowns composed of porcelain fused to metal are more durable than crowns made of all porcelain, so your dentist may recommend this material for your front or back teeth. This material can be matched to the color of your existing teeth and can blend in well and look natural, similarly to solid porcelain dental crowns. Some people find that the metal portion begins showing through as a dark line over time. This is particularly true if your gums begin to recede. If this is a concern for you, speak with your dentist about it. You can expect this material to last about 10 years.
Metal dental crowns are the strongest of the bunch, so your dentist may recommend this material for your back teeth. However, because metals are not the color of your natural teeth, this material is the least aesthetically pleasing, as it won't match your natural teeth. Metals that are used for crowns include gold, nickel, and chromium alloy. Because metal crowns are the strongest, they also last the longest and rarely chip or break. You can expect a gold crown to last an average of 20 years before needing to have it replaced. Some gold crowns last up to 30 years. In addition, this material is the most cost-effective option compared to other materials.