When it comes to getting chipped or stained teeth restored with crowns, your dentist may give you an option between choosing a metal-ceramic or a porcelain all-ceramic crown. However, this choice is not easy for many people as they are not aware of the pros and cons of each crown material. This article provides you with a comparison of both metal-ceramic and all-ceramic crowns so that you can make an informed decision the next time you’re presented with a choice.
To understand the difference between both these crown materials, it is best to make a comparison of their properties:
Esthetics – porcelain crowns are prepared entirely from tooth-colored ceramic materials. Therefore, they provide the lifelike and naturally pleasant appearance to the teeth which they restore. In the case of metal-ceramic crowns, there is a substructure of metal alloy over which porcelains are baked to provide esthetics. Unfortunately, in certain instances, a thin collar of metal remains visible at the junction of the root and the crown (along the gum line area) , which is a cosmetic concern for many patients. This usually appears as a dark line between the tooth and the gum tissue.
Durability – since metal-ceramic crowns contain a metallic framework, they possess good strength and ability to resist heavy chewing forces. However, with the advent of modern technology, porcelain crowns which possess similar, or even higher strength and durability than metal-ceramic crowns can also be prepared nowadays. The longevity of the crown will also depend on how well you take care of your crown and the health of the supporting natural tooth.
Tooth Conservation – in the case of metal-ceramic crowns, a relatively thinner layer of natural tooth structure needs to be removed to accommodate the crown, as the metal provides enough strength in a lesser thickness. In contrast, the porcelain crowns do not contain any metal framework. Therefore, they need to be prepared in thicker sections to achieve the same strength and resistance to fracture.
Cost – naturally, the cost of porcelain crowns is higher in comparison to the metal-ceramic crowns as they possess superior esthetics and lifelike appearance. The price of all-ceramic crowns may go even higher if they are made using the latest crowns systems like Emax, zirconia, Empress, etc.
Selecting the best crown material for restoring your damaged teeth is always a difficult decision. You need to consider many factors like your oral hygiene status, esthetic needs, and your budgetary constraints. Therefore, it is best that you should decide to have a consultation with your dentist.