Dental crowns are appliances used to cover significant tooth damage that cannot be rectified using a filling. Crowns are hollow and slip down over the tooth and bond to the outside. Different crown materials are available and the best choice depends on a wide variety of factors including the location of the tooth involved, the severity of the tooth's damage, and personal preference.
Metal alloy crowns are one of the material options. If you have a cracked tooth that requires a crown and are considering metal, here are a few of the pros and cons to discuss with your restorative dentistry professional.
Pro: Strong Yet Gentle
Metal crowns are made out of an either silver or gold alloy material. Crowns made of metal are durable and tend to have a longer lifespan that more fragile materials such as porcelain.
Teeth that suffer a great deal of bite force while chewing are the best matches for metal crowns. The normal pressures of everyday life shouldn't damage or crack your crown though even metal crowns won't last forever.
The metal is also gentle in a way as the metal crown on one tooth won't erode the natural enamel or crown of a neighboring tooth.
Pro: Tight Fit
The crafting technique for metal crowns allows your dentist to create a fairly thin shell that can bond tightly to the exterior of your tooth. There are a few different benefits to this tight fit.
First, the tight fit further reduces the already minimal risk that a metal crown would damage a neighboring tooth. Second, the tight fit also makes it harder for bacteria to tunnel up into the crown where the bacteria can slowly start causing further tooth damage in and around the crack.
Con: Unnatural Appearance
A metal crown is not going to resemble a natural tooth. For crowns in the rear of your mouth, this might not seem like a big deal. But some patients don't want a clearly silver or gold tooth near the front of the mouth.
Porcelain crowns are more natural looking but also more delicate. A good middle ground choice if appearances are a major concern is porcelain crowns backed with metal. The metal can still show along the bottom edge of the crown but this usually isn't noticeable to others. If your tooth is significantly cracked and takes a lot of bite force, a metal-backed porcelain crown might not be strong enough for you.
Talk to a restorative dentist like Christopher L. Schneider, DMD during your next appointment about whether metal crowns are the best choice for your tooth's level of cracking and your personal needs.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!