A dental crown is placed on an individual tooth (somewhat like a thimble over your finger) where there is no longer sufficient tooth structure left to place a filling. It can replace the crown of a broken down, cracked, heavily restored or unattractive tooth. Crowns can be made entirely of porcelain, a combination of precious metal and porcelain or all metal. Each crown is custom made individually by a dental technician. Crown placement is a simple procedure that is done in a few appointments at the dental office.
Porcelain Fused To Metal Crowns
Porcelain fused to metal crowns are crowns made with porcelain and metal. They are made by a dental technician using a semi-precious or precious metal and porcelain. The metal is fabricated into a thin metal coping (thimble like cap) which forms the substructure of the crown. This metal substructure is what provides the high strength of a porcelain fused to metal crown. The porcelain is then bonded to the metal substructure to match the shape and colour of your natural teeth. The metal and porcelain is baked at high temperatures fusing the porcelain to the metal. Porcelain fused to metal crowns usually have a small amount of metal visible on the lingual (tongue side) of the crown. This is usually in a spot where you cannot see it. The metal is necessary to give the crown structural support. Porcelain fused to metal crowns are cemented onto the tooth preparation using a long lasting strong cement. Although porcelain fused to metal crowns are strong, care is still needed when eating certain foods such as nuts, hard fruits, raw vegetables and sticky candies and toffees.
All Ceramic Crowns
All ceramic crowns (caps) are made of entirely of porcelain. A lab technician using materials that will match your natural tooth's colour, shape and size makes these crowns. All ceramic crowns are hard and durable providing sound support, although they are not as strong as a metal-based crown. However, because there is no metal involved, ceramic crowns may be more esthetic in appearance, providing a more natural restoration. These metal free restorations may also be indicated for patients with metal sensitivities.