In recent years, the field of cosmetic dentistry has made great strides forward in techniques and materials, and we can choose from many more procedures now than in years past.
Many of us had metal crowns done at one time or another, and these might have been made of, Gold or Gold alloy, Nickel alloy, Chromium alloy, or Palladium, On back teeth, which do the chewing, a metal crown is sometimes a good choice, as the metal materials are very strong and durable.
There are few disadvantages of old metal crowns such as their color – which contrasts strongly with the white teeth surrounding them, problems with decay – if bacteria get up underneath the crown, gum disease can set in, requiring the removal of the crown, gum treatment, and a new crown. Also, wear and tear – older crowns can become worn or no longer fit as well.
An alternative to the metal crown is to use a porcelain crown instead. Dental porcelain is a material with similar properties to tooth enamel. It absorbs and reflects light the way our natural teeth do. Light travels through the porcelain to the bonding material which attaches the crown to the tooth, and then bounces back. This gives the porcelain crown a translucent look much like that of our natural teeth. With tooth enamel, the light travels through to the tooth dentin underlying the enamel, and bounces back. This is what gives our teeth that shiny, pearly look.
An all-porcelain crown blends in excellently with the surrounding teeth. Porcelain is highly resistant to discoloration, and when bonded to our teeth, it’s strong and durable.