What is the Best Material to Use for My Dental Crown?

Implant, Cosmetic & Family Dentist Serving Aurora, Centennial, Parker, Green Valley Ranch & Nearby Areas of Colorado

Posted: November 15, 2017

There are many reasons a dental crown may be necessary for your teeth. Whether you are needing to restore an already broken tooth or create an aesthetic smile, dental crowns are an excellent solution for an array of reasons. There are various restorative materials for dental crowns these days and it can be confusing to know which material is best for you.

Restore your smile with an effective solution

A dental crown is a fitted “cap” that covers the entirety of the tooth. There are temporary and permanent dental crowns, depending on how long the crown needs to last in your mouth. A temporary crown is used when waiting for a permanent crown to be cemented or giving an implant time to heal. A permanent crown, the more commonly used, is placed following the period where the final crown is made. Below are several choices to discuss with your dentist when having a crown made:

Gold Crowns

Although common several years ago, gold crowns are not typically used due to lack of cosmetic appeal and cost (i.e. gold is valued at $1,300 per ounce at time of this writing). This type of crown has a long track record of success in the mouth as they are durable, produce fewer reactions than other metal materials, and they do not wear the opposing teeth. The biggest con for most people is that they are not cosmetically appealing. Gold crowns tend to be a great option for upper back teeth where nobody will see them and where the crown provides the most durability against strong bite forces. Finally, gold crowns require less tooth preparation, which can help for a tooth to be less sensitive, and they can last upwards of 40 years if well maintained! It’s safe to say that gold is a pretty amazing material in the mouth, it just comes at a cost.

A more esthetic option which still takes advantage of gold’s strength is porcelain fused to metal crowns, or PFMs. The substructure of the crown consists of gold/platinum/palladium and other semi-precious metals, while the exterior of the crown is covered in porcelain. Most of the time, there is a small rim of the metal that exists on the inside of the crown where nobody but your dentist/hygienist can see; however, when the gums recede, patients often notice a darkening around the gum line area, making the crown look less life-like because of the undertone. These crowns are fabricated in a dental lab over 2 weeks and are great for all areas of the mouth but play a more integral role restoring the back teeth. These crowns typically last 7-12 years.

Stainless Steel

These crowns are ideal for children when their primary teeth become decayed to a point where the nerve is affected or a filling will not hold. This type of crown can cover a baby tooth and grow with it so that when it makes way for the permanent tooth, the crown will come right off with the old one. These crowns are temporary, cost-effective, and are simple to put in place. If these types of crowns are not placed and a primary tooth is lost, it can cause orthodontic (spacing) problems later in life. Highpoint Dental places these crowns in children but also has more esthetic options for your child if these are needed.

Porcelain (also known as All-Ceramic)

These are the dental crowns that are the most life-like and aesthetically pleasing. They are very popular for the anterior and posterior teeth and they reduce temperature sensitivity over metal type crowns. Much like gold, they are non-reactive for patients with metal sensitivities, and keep your gums looking healthy.

Two types of porcelain crowns are used in dentistry, e.Max and zirconia. At Highpoint Dental, e.Max crowns can be created in a single visit (same day crown), removing the need for a temporary or a second appointment. These crowns are greatly esthetic and bond to tooth structure when cemented. Zirconia is currently the strongest porcelain used in dentistry and has been made to look more esthetic than before. Although extremely strong, the bond tends to be less than that of e.Max. The downside of all porcelains is that they tend to fracture easier than other materials, they can be damaging to opposing teeth, and more tooth has to be removed for the procedure. These crowns typically last 5-10 years.

Consider all factors

Keep in mind that there is not one dental crown material that will work best for everyone. It really depends on the reason, the timeline, your price range, and your dental history. Do not be afraid to talk to the staff at Highpoint Dental Care to help you sort through these options in greater detail. No matter the material, dental crowns are a great way to support your teeth and keep them healthy. Dr. Rowe and Dr. Baltz can replace the “yellow” looking crown in your mouth and make it look life-like, or they can completely remake your smile. Call us today to schedule an appointment to talk about dental crowns.

Schedule Your Dental Care Consultation

If you have chipped, cracked, discolored teeth, or if you're experiencing pain or discomfort, call Highpoint Dental Care today at 303-500-8701 to schedule your free dental crown consultation.

We serve patients in Aurora, Centennial, Parker, Green Valley Ranch, and other nearby areas of Colorado.