So, you’ve had a root canal treatment, or a retreatment, and you want the best material used in your dental crown. With all the different materials available to your dentist, which one would be the best for you?
Stainless Steel – This is typically used for temporary crowns. They are prefabricated and are meant to only be used while the permanent crown is made. Children will often have a stainless steel crown until the tooth falls out naturally. These crowns do not require multiple visits to the dentist to place or care for them. Adults do not typically wear these for long periods of time and they do not have the appearance that adults often want from their crown.
Metals – Metal crowns, varying from gold alloy to palladium alloy to base metal alloys, require less tooth structure be removed. Wearing down of opposing teeth is kept to a minimum. Though these crowns do not chip or break as frequently as other crowns, the metal coloring is best for use on teeth that are not normally seen, like molars. Since the metals draw attention to the work done in their mouths, adults will not often seek this material for their visible teeth.
Porcelain fused to metal – The porcelain can be matched to the color of your normal teeth. The drawback is that the opposing teeth are worn down easier and the porcelain portion of the dental crown can chip more easily. The metal of the base can also be seen at the gumline and tends to become more prominent if you suffer from receding gums.
All-resin – This is the least expensive material for crowns. This material is not very sturdy and often the crowns over time the material will wear down and may crack or fracture. These dental crowns will have to be replaced more often, which may lead to having the tooth permanently removed if there is not enough material to fuse the crown to.
All-ceramic or all-porcelain – To prevent metal allergies from affecting your oral health, an all-ceramic or all-porcelain crown may be the best way for you to go. These crowns are not as sturdy as the porcelain fused to metal crowns. The wear on your opposing teeth is worse. However, an all-ceramic crown is usually best for the front teeth, for a more natural look.
Temporary versus permanent – Usually temporary crowns are made in the dentist’s office. These are used exactly as their name indicates – temporarily, usually while waiting for a permanent crown to be made. There are new machines where a permanent crown can be made in the office, without the use of a temporary. This is more convenient and the crown can be adjusted before it is made so there is less need to adjust it after placement. Temporary crowns are usually made of acrylic or stainless steel.
Zirconia or milled crown – For crowns that are conveniently made in the dentist’s office, without the need for an impression or a temporary, and without the usual wait of two weeks or more, the Zirconia or milled crowns are the best way to go. They are comfortable, and can be made from a large variety of colors so they fit well with the surrounding teeth, with little difference. This method requires the software and hardware to create the dental crown and usually only takes about fifteen minutes.
You will want to have a dental crown placed that will fit your health needs as well as your lifestyle. You and your dentist can discuss the many options for crowns and together you can decide the one that would be best for your needs.