Dental crowns are also known as caps and are widely used in dentistry. A crown will have the purpose to protect a fractured or damaged tooth or a tooth that has a large filling. The materials used to manufacture dental crowns may vary. You can choose a crown according to its appearance, price and durability. Here are four types of dental crowns:
1. Metal Crowns
Mostly used in the past, metal crowns are a means of covering tooth that need to be protected. The metals have the advantage of being very durable, easily maintained and very malleable. However, the downside of metal crowns is their appearance, which is not suitable if you want an impeccable smile. However, if the tooth that needs a crown is located at the back of your moth and is not visible, you can choose a metal crown.
Metal crowns may be les expensive than porcelain crowns, but there may also be metallic crowns that are pricier (gold alloy). The metals used for dental crowns include:
- Gold alloy
- Nickel alloy
- Chromium alloys
The metals used should be malleable and rust resistant.
2. Porcelain Crowns
Porcelain dental crowns are very popular, due to the fact that they have a natural appearance. There are various shades of porcelain that can be used according to the color of your teeth. Porcelain is a less resistant material when compared to metal, so there may be chips and cracks in time. On average, metal crowns may last 10 to 15 years, while porcelain crowns last between 5 to 10 years. However, porcelain crowns are recommended to cover front teeth, as a metallic crown would look unaesthetic.
Porcelain crowns are easy to maintain and will not change color in time, even if they are whitened. For this reason, if you consider bleaching your teeth, you should do this prior to getting the dental crown; otherwise, after the bleaching, you will notice a difference in color between your natural teeth and the crown.
3. Ceramic Crowns
Ceramic crowns are a less expensive option to the porcelain crowns. The ceramic materials have about the same properties as porcelain, but they have the disadvantage of being exposed to staining. This is due to the fact that the ceramic material will be more porous than porcelain and staining may occur due to coffee, black tea, cola and various other foods. These crowns cannot be bleached, so they may need to be replaced in 3 to 5 years if they change color.
4. Porcelain Fused on Metal
The porcelain fused on metal crowns are more resistant than the porcelain or ceramic crowns and may be used when the tooth is badly damaged and requires some structural support as well. While the exterior of the tooth will have a natural appearance, there may be a slim line or metal visible at the gum line, which may make this option less esthetic than a porcelain crown.