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Understanding the difference between different types of dental crowns and what type is best for me?

Nice teethDifferences between different types of dental crowns

Dental crowns present a reasonable solution to chipped, discolored or broken teeth. Defined as a ‘cap’ that is designed to resemble a natural tooth, dental crowns are fitted over an existing tooth in such a way as to cover the deformity and stay in place firmly. Alternatively, dental crowns can be held in place using a dental implant. Before undergoing any procedure to have a dental crown fitted it is worth understanding the different types of crowns that are available. This will help you make an informed decision based on your expectations. Dental crowns vary in terms of the material they are made of, durability and aesthetic quality. The following are features of some of the commonly used dental crowns:

Porcelain fused to metal

Also known as PFM dental crowns, this type is created in such a way that porcelain is fused on parts or the whole of the tooth. PFM crowns blend in with the color of your natural teeth providing a desirable aesthetic effect. The salient feature of PFM crowns is their ability to provide firmness and strength that rivals any other dental restorations available thanks to the stability that the underlying metal provides. However, PFMs also have their own shortcomings which may prompt you to consider a better alternative. Sometimes, the metal beneath the porcelain can be visible as a dark line especially at the gum line and therefore PFM crowns are not recommended for people with receding gums.

When being fitted, PFMs require that a large portion of the tooth structure be removed yet the porcelain part of the crown can chip off or break over time. Moreover, teeth that bite against the crown may end up being worn out over the course of time. Despite the cons, PFMs are highly considerable for patients seeking longevity of a crown with a natural look.

Emax crowns

The Emax crown is a type of all ceramic crowns known for its attractive appearance and durability. Emax crowns are made from a high quality ceramic material; lithium disilicate that appears translucent in color giving a delicate, glassy, naturally appealing look yet tough in functionality. Compared to the PFM crowns, Emax carries a better aesthetic appearance. Better yet, since they have no underlying metal material, Emax crowns do not have the unsightly appearance of a dark line at the gum region as is seen with PFM crowns. They are also less likely to chip or crack. The downside to Emax crowns is their higher cost since they require no preparation before fitting.

Zirconium crowns

These are crowns made form zirconium which is a tough and long-lasting material greatly preferred for use in dental crowns. Being translucent, it resembles the patient’s natural teeth giving an aesthetic value similar to the Emax crown. The unique feature of zirconium crowns is that they can be modified in size and shape depending on the site of fixation. Since the material is biocompatible, you run minimal chance if any of experiencing adverse reactions in your body. When being fitted, less of the tooth structure is removed unlike with PFM crowns. The disadvantage associated with zirconium crowns is that they can be so hard making it difficult to use by the dentist or causing abrasion of adjacent teeth which may lead to tooth decay.

For more Information

For more information on dental crowns, dental implants or any other dental procedures contact Passport Dental at 1-800-721-4445 or email us at and one of our case managers will be happy to answer any questions you may have or get you a free quote.

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