Crowns can have metal or be metal free
Crowns, or caps on teeth, are worn by the majority of the population. As mentioned on our website, crowns have a variety of benefits. They strengthen the tooth, allow for color to be changed, and also allow for the tooth shape to be changed. The age-tested, tried-and-true crown is a metal-ceramic crown. Metal ceramic crowns get their name from their composition. A metal-ceramic crown has a metal core substructure that gives the crown its strength. Then porcelain or ceramic is layered on top of that metal core. The porcelain or ceramic’s function is to allow it to look like a tooth. The ceramic glass can be fashioned the desired shape or color. The downside of a metal-ceramic crown is that the metal substructure can block light from passing through the tooth.
You can test this on your own if you have a metal-ceramic crown. Turn off the lights and hold up a small keychain light to the back of your front teeth. Natural teeth will allow light to pass directly through the tooth. A tooth with a metal-ceramic crown will impede the light to some degree.
A metal free crown is more aesthetic
In the last decade all-ceramic crowns or metal free crowns, have really grown in popularity. First, patients are becoming more educated regarding the aesthetics of a metal-ceramic crown. Secondly, metal free crowns have really came a long way in strength. Strength was always the concern. After all, a metal free crown is nothing more than a thin sheet of glass that must withstand a very harsh environment. It must pulverize all of our food, slide against our opposing teeth, and do all of this in a constantly wet environment subjected to various swings in different acidity. The invent of lithium disilicate and zirconia has changed everything. Now patients can often time achieve the needed crown strength without sacrificing the aesthetics.
Ask if a metal free crown is a good option for you
If you are faced with receiving a crown, be sure and ask if an all ceramic, metal free crown is a good option for you. Although, there are some indications when a metal free crown is not a good option, many time the dentist can accommodate. Feel free to give us a call for a consultation to see if you can benefit from a metal free crown.