What Do You Know About Oral Care Mistakes?

« Back to Home

What Are The Differences Between Ceramic And Porcelain When Fused To Metal Crowns?

Posted on

While dental crowns all do the same job, they come in different materials. The material you choose affects your costs, the way the crown looks, and the length of time it is likely to last.

If you want a long-lasting crown, then you might be looking at ceramic or porcelain fused-to-metal (PFM) options. What are the differences between these two crowns? Which one should you choose?

Ceramic Crowns: What to Know

Ceramic tooth crowns only contain ceramic materials. They are typically made from porcelain and don't contain any metal.

Some people prefer these crowns because they closely match the appearance of natural teeth. Ceramics have a shine and luster that other crowning materials don't have.  

Plus, your dentist can make a ceramic crown more closely match your natural tooth color. These crowns don't contain metals or other materials that affect their color tones or bio-compatibility. They are often the best option when you crown a front tooth.

However, full ceramic crowns don't have any additional strength reinforcement. They are more likely to crack and break than PFM alternatives. They also typically cost more.

PFM Crowns: What to Know

PFM crowns are partly made from porcelain ceramics. However, these false teeth also contain metal.

These porcelain crowns have a metal cap inside them that sits over the tooth. The crown is then coated with a tightly-bonded layer of porcelain to give it its white exterior.

This metal layer gives a PFM crown additional strength. It helps the false tooth cope with the stresses of long-term use. So, the crown is less likely to crack or break than a full ceramic. Therefore, it is a good option for back teeth.

Your costs should also be lower here. Metal is less expensive than porcelain, so a mixed-material crown costs less.

However, PFM crowns do have some downsides. They can be harder to color match. Plus, some people feel that the metal part of the crown affects the look of the tooth. It can sometimes show through the porcelain and affect its tone.

Also, if your gums recede in the future, then the metal under the top part of the crown might become exposed. It will become visible around your gum line.

These crowns also don't suit people with metal allergies. If you do have problems with exposure to metals, then a full porcelain crown will be a better option.

For more advice on whether to choose PFM or ceramic crowns, talk to your dentist.