The reason for crown treatment is not only for esthetics, but it is to save the root of your tooth. Your roots are important to the health and integrity of your jawbone which in turn is important to your overall dental health. The pressure created by biting or chewing stimulates a flow of nutrients to your jawbone. These nutrients keep your jawbone healthy and strong. Crown treatment, root canals, fillings, etc., are performed to prevent the need for tooth extraction because without the root of your tooth (and the flow of nutrients) more serious complications can arise. There are several types of dental crowns but today we are going to discuss why you might need a metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crown, in particular.
Metal and PFM Crowns
Both porcelain and zirconia are dental materials that simulate the color of natural teeth, and are often used for anterior teeth that are noticeable when you talk or smile. While porcelain is the most common type of crown, there are times when a metal or PFM crown may be the better choice.
Metal Crowns: Metal crowns are usually made from gold alloy, are exceptionally strong, and won’t chip or break. Because gold crowns can withstand even the heaviest biting and chewing forces, they are often the treatment of choice for back molars of people who grind and clench their teeth (brux). Grinding and clenching can weaken natural teeth leading to chips, fractures, and breaks, and can also wear down and/or damage porcelain crowns.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns: PFM crowns are a combination of metal and porcelain. A strong metal core is covered with an esthetically pleasing porcelain exterior making the crown both strong and attractive. PFM crowns can be used for anterior or posterior teeth, but are often the treatment of choice for posterior teeth for patients who brux.