Over time, teeth often get damaged, whether it’s due to aging, tooth decay, or injuries to the teeth. Sometimes the damage leads to changes in the size or shape of teeth, and dental treatments like a ceramic or porcelain crown are caps that can be placed over a tooth to restore the size, shape, appearance, and strength of the tooth. These crowns can be made of many materials, and two of the most popular are ceramic crowns and porcelain fused to metal options. This leaves many people wondering about the difference between a porcelain crown and a ceramic crown.
Why Do You Need a Ceramic or Porcelain Crown?
First, why are dental crowns used? Some of the common reasons that you may require a dental crown include:
- Restoring a worn down or broken tooth.
- Protecting a tooth that’s weak from breaking or keeping parts of a cracked tooth together.
- Covering a tooth after a root canal.
- Keeping a dental bridge in place.
- Covering dental implants.
- Covering teeth that are severely discolored or misshapen.
- Covering a tooth and offering extra support to a tooth that has a large filling.
What is a Ceramic Crown?
All-ceramic crowns are usually made completely from some type of ceramic. As with crowns of every material, the crown sits on top of a filed-down tooth, restoring its structure, shape, or appearance. Ceramic crowns are popular options for those who want to ensure the most natural appearance of their tooth restoration. Generally, ceramic looks closest to your natural teeth, and ceramic also makes a great option for individuals who have metal allergies.
Ceramic crowns also have a high resistance to temperature changes, which means they can mitigate any temperature sensitivity you experience.
What’s a Porcelain Fused to Metal Crown?
Porcelain fused to metal crowns offer you the aesthetic appeal that comes with ceramic crowns, but they are more durable. The interior of these crowns are made of metal, which is covered with a porcelain exterior to make it look like a natural tooth. Since the base is made from metal, it offers improved structural integrity and reduces the risk of fractures. Meanwhile, the top layer of porcelain ensures that your tooth restoration looks attractive and natural.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Right Material for Your Crown
As you’re working with your dentist to determine what material is right for your crown, there are several different factors to keep in mind, including:
- The location of the tooth being restored
- The position of the gum tissue around the tooth
- How much natural tooth is in place
- How much of this tooth shows when you smile
- The function of the tooth that requires a crown
- The color of your teeth surrounding the tooth that will be crowned
Knowing the difference between porcelain crowns and ceramic crowns is critical when selecting the material for your crown.
For example, all-ceramic crowns often work well for front teeth because they are generally more attractive. Front teeth also wear less than molars. However, if you engage in high-risk activities like sports where you may take a blow to your face, the all-ceramic crowns are more likely to fracture.
If you don’t want metal crowns but you do want the additional strength and support metal offers, porcelain fused to metal crowns may be an excellent choice. They offer you a combination of appearance and longevity, which many people appreciate when choosing a crown.
Difference Between Porcelain Crown and Ceramic Crown Costs
The cost of dental crowns varies greatly, not only based upon the type of material used but also based upon where you live. Generally, crowns range between $800 and $1,500, according to Cleveland Clinic. While a crown made of gold could cost even more, ceramic and porcelain fused to metal crowns generally are more expensive than all-metal crowns made of metal alloys.
Keep in mind, the cost of any crown can go up if your tooth requires more extensive prep work before the crown is placed. For example, you could require a dental implant or a root canal, both of which would increase the final cost.
Dental insurance often covers part or all of the crown’s cost. However, some plans only cover certain types of crowns. Be sure to check with your insurance company to find out if they have restrictions on the materials covered for crowns.
Caring for Porcelain Crowns or Ceramic Crowns
While porcelain crowns and ceramic crowns do have some differences, whichever option you choose, it’s essential to take good care of the crown. Some helpful tips for prolonging the life of your crown include:
- Floss all your teeth, and carefully around the crown, daily.
- Brush your teeth carefully. Don’t brush too hard on your crown or your natural teeth. Toothpaste for sensitive teeth may be helpful if the crown or the teeth around it are sensitive.
- Skip the hard foods. Chewing overly hard foods like hard candy or chewing ice could crack your crown.
- Do you grind your teeth at night? Talk to your dentist about a nightguard. This helps protect the crown and the surrounding teeth.
Reach Out to Kawveh Nofallah for Professional Dental Crowns
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