Single dental crown and model with dental instruments

Determining The Best Material For Your Dental Crown

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Single dental crown and model with dental instruments

Dental crowns can be used to repair damaged teeth or improve their appearance and are made with several different materials. At Rangel Dental, our dentists believe that educating patients on all available options can help them better understand their treatment. There are certain factors that should be taken into consideration to determine which dental crown material will work best for you.

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain is one of the most popular choices of material for dental crowns, as it provides a natural, translucent appearance that blends seamlessly with existing teeth. There are several types of porcelain or ceramic crowns, including:

All porcelain or all-ceramic – All-porcelain crowns are often used in cosmetic dentistry when crowns are placed on the front teeth or a patient is sensitive to metals.  

Zirconia – For patients who grind or clench their teeth, a dentist may recommend a zirconia crown, as this material is stronger than traditional porcelain and most composite metals. Zirconia is zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), a chemically unreactive, biocompatible ceramic, which also makes it a durable, attractive choice for patients who want metal-free crowns.

Porcelain fused to metal – This type of dental crown material consists of metal alloys coated in porcelain. The metal provides a strong foundation while the porcelain offers the natural appearance of a tooth. These types of crowns may include a mix of silver, nickel, platinum, chromium, or other metals. Crowns that contain metals must be made in a dental lab, which means you’ll have to wear a temporary crown for a few weeks until the permanent one is finished.

Composite Resin Crowns

Composite is a tooth-colored resin material that is typically used for dental fillings. Composite crowns are not as durable as ceramic or metal but can be an effective option for patients who are extremely sensitive to metals and porcelain. Composite crowns are usually less expensive than ceramic or metal.

Metal Crowns

There are several metals used in dental crowns, including nickel, gold, palladium, and chromium. Metal crowns are very strong and withstand chewing and biting forces very well. They rarely chip or break. However, they are more conspicuous than ceramic crowns, so many patients only choose them for rear molars.

Same-Day Dental Crowns

All-ceramic, all-zirconia, and composite resin crowns can be made on the same day using in-office CEREC® technology. Your dentist takes digital impressions of your teeth and mouth, which are then uploaded to a CAD/CAM program.  Precise images are sent to a milling device, which fabricates your crown. With same-day dental crowns, you get the convenience of having your crown completed in one visit and results that are just as durable and beautiful as those offered by a crown that’s created in a lab.  

What to Consider When Choosing Dental Crown Material

It’s critical to talk to your dentist about your specific dental care needs and desired aesthetic results Some of the most important factors to consider include:

Strength – Metal and zirconia are the strongest crown materials. If you clench or grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend these options. You may also want to consider investing in a custom-made night guard that protects your teeth.

Longevity – Typically, a crown lasts between 10 to 15 years or longer. However, composite crowns may need to be replaced after 3 to 8 years.

Appearance – All-ceramic crowns look the most like natural teeth. Although porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can be matched to the color of your other teeth, sometimes the metal under the porcelain cap may show as a dark line.

Cost – All-ceramic crowns usually cost more than metal unless you’re interested in a gold crown.  If you have dental insurance, it may cover a portion of the cost of your crown.  

Convenience – Seeing a dentist who uses in-office CEREC® technology to fabricate dental crowns can save you time and money.

Metal allergies – Ifyou’ve had a reaction to any type of metal in the past, it’s important to let your dentist know. All-porcelain, all-ceramic, and all-zirconia crowns are metal-free and highly biocompatible.

Contact Us To Schedule An Appointment

At Rangel Dental, we’re committed to providing exceptional general and cosmetic dentistry that’s tailored to meet the specific needs of our patients in Morristown and throughout Morris County, NJ. To find out more about dental crown materials or schedule an appointment, contact us online or call 973-292-0001.