Your general dentist may have told you that you need a dental crown. It can be difficult to choose the right type of crown for you. There are many different dental crown materials to choose from. The type of material that will work for you will depend on several factors. If you are trying to decide which dental crown material is right for you, you likely have many questions about the materials. Here are some of the most common questions patients ask a general dentist about dental crown material options.
What are the benefits of gold crowns?
Gold crowns are a durable choice that has been around for a long time. It is the least reactive metal, and so patients are less likely to react to the crown. It does not damage surrounding teeth and lasts much longer than most other crown options. Patients with grinding or clenching issues have good success with gold crowns for this reason. However, gold crowns are very visible in the mouth.
What other metal crowns are there?
Because gold is so expensive, many patients opt for metal crowns in less precious materials. However, patients are more likely to experience a reaction or allergy to other metals. This may mean the metal crown does not last as long, and the general dentist will have to replace the crown more often. Metal crowns also conduct heat and cold and can increase a patient’s teeth sensitivity. But gold crowns have a track record for lasting longer than other crown options.
Are there any non-metallic crowns?
In recent years, porcelain crowns have become more popular. These crowns match the color of the patient’s natural teeth. Another advantage of porcelain crowns is that this option does not conduct hot and cold as easily as a metal crown. Porcelain crowns are durable but can damage the patient’s other teeth. If patients are teeth grinders, then the porcelain crowns can become brittle and crack over time. Porcelain crowns are the most like real teeth, but dentists have to remove more of the tooth to fit a porcelain crown than a metal crown.
Why choose metal and porcelain combos?
A porcelain cap fused to a metal crown is a less popular option these days. While this fused option is long-lasting, patients do not like that the metal crown is visible through the porcelain. However, it is a less obvious crown option than a full gold or metal crown, and it is more durable and less brittle than a full porcelain crown. The crown base protects the tooth even if the patient damages the porcelain. Porcelain-fused crowns do work well with glass ionomer cement, which is less reactive and causes less sensitivity in patients.
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A general dentist is your dental crown partner
Having so many dental crown material options is a good thing. You and your general dentist can talk about the pros and cons of each option. Your dentist can test you to determine which materials are least reactive for you to use. If you practice good oral hygiene, your dental crown can last for many years.