A dental crown can be made of metal, chromium-cobalt, or nickel chromium porcelain. The dental crowns that are actually used today are either porcelain fused to metal crowns or porcelain crowns (also called full porcelain). When it comes to porcelains (the latter category) there are different levels of quality.
At Helvetic Dental Clinics, we use the best materials in the field of dental porcelains, which is Zirconium or E-max crowns.
Porcelain fused to metal Crowns
As the name suggests, the porcelain fused to metal crowns, also known as PFM (porcelain fused to metal), have a metal base that is covered with porcelain. The metal, in this case, is not visible. The primary benefit of porcelain fused to metal crown is the price, that is cheaper than a full porcelain crown. The second advantage of the PFM crown is the quality. You will never encounter problems with regards to the durability of this type of crown. However, there is one drawback: over time (2-5 years) and depending on the individual, gums will have a tendency to recede. If this were the case, it would reveal the base of the porcelain fused to metal crown. As there is metal underneath the porcelain, a light gray line can present an undesired esthetic effect.
Full Porcelain, Zirconia Crowns
The Zirconium or Zirconia crown does not contain any grey metal. So, unlike the PFM, you will not see the exposed base if the gums recede. In this case, at least from a cosmetic standpoint, the Zirconium crown has a clear advantage over the porcelain fused to metal crown. The only drawback is the price, as it is more expensive than the porcelain fused to metal crown.
The E-max crown is considered the best option in today’s market. The only drawback is the price, which is even higher that the Zirconium crown. Whether it’s for veneers, crowns, or bridges, E-max offers a transparent colour and a durability that is unparalleled. Truely, no other crown can compete with the E-max crown. It is an all-porcelain translucent crown with an attractive color and it has the highest level of strength and durability. The crown is made from a single block of porcelain lithium disilicate, which is a material selected for its superior hardness and stability, making it a very popular product. The E-max crown is considered to be an important milestone in terms of technology advancement in modern dentistry; the porcelain crown glass is hard and durable but at the same time, delicate in its appearance. In today’s market, this type of crown is considered as the best choice in terms of achieving a seamless match with the existing teeth. The transparent color and realistic form make it undistinguishable from one’s own teeth.
Why we avoid the use of Procera
We recognize that Procera is a product on the market, but we do not advise it. Procera is a trademark of ceramics which is used in the industry and advocates the hardness of the crown in comparison to other crowns. The scientific study conducted by the University of Saskatchewan in Canada compares three crowns: the E-max, PFM crown, and the all-ceramic Procera crown. The study notes that the E-max crowns are strong and durable and are unlikely to crack or fracture in comparison to many other types of crowns. They are also less susceptible to chipping and cracking. You can read the study here.
Placing a Crown
A crown can be placed on either a living or dead tooth.
Types of crowns: Your dentist will typically let you know what the options are so that you can choose.
Tooth preparation: If the root of the tooth is intact but the visible part of the tooth no longer exists, it is necessary to have a root canal treatment and use a post that screws into the root. Once the post in place, the dentist will place the crown on it.
If the tooth above the root exists, it may not be necessary to have the root canal treated. In this case, the dentist prepares the tooth by grinding it a little, taking an impression, and then places the crown directly onto the tooth without the use of a post.
A crown may be placed on an implant or, if the tooth allows it, directly onto the tooth itself. However, if an extraction is necessary, then your dentist will insert the implant after a four to six months healing period before covering it with a crown. During this time, there is typically a empty space where the implant was inserted. It is also the case if a crown is placed on an existing tooth; during the period of time the laboratory needs to prepare the crown, there will be an empty space between the teeth. If the tooth in question is in the back of the mouth, it is possible to live with a missing tooth while waiting for the crown placement. Naturally, if the space is located on the front teeth, the patient will not remain toothless throughout this process. Therefore, we’ll make temporary crowns that will fill the gap until the final crown is ready.
Duration of a crown
The lifetime of a dental crown varies considerably. With good upkeep and if the patient maintains impeccable hygiene, it can last anywhere between 30-40 years, and sometimes a lifetime. Important elements affecting the durability of a crown depend on the quality of the practitioner, the dental technician, and the quality of materials used.
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