Throughout life, a bit of dental wear and tear is perfectly natural. Our teeth are not exempt from enduring cracks – or even early-offset damage sustained through injury.
Unlike most other parts of our body, teeth are unfortunately not regenerative – unless you’re a child – and any tooth-based trauma sustained is irreparable. Luckily, there are dental solutions available that can very closely emulate your original pearly whites.
Dental crowns are artificial teeth that are uniquely customized to your smile. They are typically color-matched to your set of chompers, and they are made from durable material – usually porcelain, as this is a material that is both stain-resistant and white.
Porcelain is not actually the only material you can use, though, and there are a number of factors you may want to consider before you decide on a material.
Here are five things to think about before biting the bullet (or perhaps don’t bite bullets. That’s probably why you’re needing a dental crown in the first place, right?).
1. Porcelain or ceramic
As aforementioned, porcelain or ceramic dental crowns are the most common and popular choice. This material is stain-resistant and – most conveniently – white, so it should seamlessly blend into your smile.
The downside of porcelain is that it is one of the more expensive dental crowns, and it is also the material most prone to chipping.
For this reason, you may want to reserve these more cosmetic crowns for your front teeth rather than your back molars (where most of the rougher, more primal chomping takes place).
Their fragility also means you’ll want to avoid roughhousing, lest you should require further dental adjustments.
As far as aesthetics go, porcelain or ceramic dental crowns are the closest you’re going to get to the real thing.
2. Gold alloys
Gold alloy crowns, on the other hand, are the most durable of them all. Unlike porcelain, gold alloys will not break or chip. They’re also less likely to cause a reaction than other metals.
The major drawback of gold crowns is…well, that they’re gold, so they’re going to stick out like a sore thumb against your otherwise perfect palette of pearly whites. Gold alloy crowns can be great replacements for back teeth, which are less visible – and also require extra durability.
It is possible to fuse a gold crown with porcelain, but the gold will nevertheless be visible. These crowns are amazing for their functionality, but they are not to be chosen for cosmetic purposes.
3. Base metal alloys
Similar to gold alloys, base metal alloys are renowned for their durability but are not the greatest cosmetic option. They are a great choice for back molars, but they will not resemble natural teeth.
Although these crowns may cause issues for people with metal sensitivity, they are the most affordable crowns. Highly corrosion-resistant, these crowns are gentle on neighboring teeth, despite their super sturdy structure.
They are ideal for someone with severe tooth decay. As with the gold alloys, there is the option to fuse them with porcelain, but this will not completely resolve the cosmetic issue.
Porcelain can also recede with time, potentially exposing the metal crown increment by increment.
4. Porcelain/metallic fusions
We have touched on porcelain/metallic ‘fusions’ throughout this discussion already. To detail their exact composition: they’re essentially metal alloy crowns with a layer of porcelain on top.
The metal is the stronger material, and this is the anchor connecting to the underlying tooth. The porcelain whitens the crown, making it appear slightly more natural. These crowns are typically custom-made in a lab in high-temperature conditions to fuse the materials together.
Though it is not a perfect cosmetic solution, it is a way to secure the solid grounding that is sometimes required – especially for back molars – without looking completely unnatural. Of course, this option will likely require additional costs because there are two materials at play.
5. Some final considerations
Ultimately, your individual needs will dictate your choice of dental crown material. As the aforementioned, cosmetic appearance and material strength are two of the most important determinants.
You’ll also need to consider how much space there is for the crown(s), as well as lifestyle factors.
For example, if your tooth trauma was due to a sporting injury, you may want to consider the sustainability of a porcelain replacement, which is more vulnerable to damage than a natural tooth.
Cost is also an important factor. For perhaps obvious reasons, gold crowns are the most expensive. Metal is among the cheaper options, but it is not necessarily hypoallergenic.
Sometimes, you may need to choose something sturdier at the cost of cosmetic appearance—or you could compromise with a porcelain/metallic hybrid if you can spare the expense.
Choose the dental crown that best suits your lifestyle, requirements, and budget. Have a chat with your dentist to learn more.
About The Author:
Manvitha Tenneti is a viable author who always fancies making the content more interactive and obtainable to the readers. She endured various fields like Information Technology, Digital Marketing, business operations, inventive writing, video scripting.