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What are the different types of dental crowns?

25 Sep 2020

A dental crown is an artificial ceramic tooth that bonds onto your natural tooth after preparation (removal of a layer of enamel). A dental crown is utilised in situations where the amount of remaining tooth structure is not enough to support a restoration such as a filling or an inlay. 

A crown is used in severely worn down, cracked or weakened teeth as it strengthens the remaining structure with the intention of protecting the tooth from further breakages. The amount of preparation required to your existing tooth depends on the type of crown to be used.

Ceramic crowns

Made from porcelain, ceramic crowns achieve beautiful aesthetics as the porcelain allows light to pass through the ceramic to the underlying tooth thereby giving a superior aesthetic appearance. Ceramic crowns are also colour matched to your existing teeth further enhancing their aesthetics. 

Porcelain alone is not strong enough to withstand the conditions in the mouth so a central core to provide strength is required. This is achieved using materials such as Zirconia or E-max that provide strength without losing the aesthetic advantages of porcelain. With ceramic crowns you need less reduction of your natural tooth which is better for long-term health.

Porcelain fused to metal crowns (PFM)

The central core of the crown is metal and then covered with porcelain to match your own tooth colour. Unlike Porcelain or ceramic crowns, PFM’s may have compromises in terms of aesthetics as you must cover the underlying metal that provides the central core and strength of the crown. Metal blocks the light from passing through the porcelain, losing its natural tooth like transparency therefore reducing the overall aesthetics.

Metal or gold full coverage crowns

Made completely of gold or metal, these crowns allow for minimal preparation of the tooth. Gold has the reputation of lasting for years and years thus increasing the life span of the crown itself. 

The longevity of any type of crown will be directly related to your routine dental check ups as well as at home maintenance. 

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