Many times we get questions from patients regarding crowns and what they are made of. The answer is that with modern technology, there are many options available to use depending on what we are trying to achieve. SO.....in a nutshell, here is what we now use:
1. PFM (Porcelain fused to metal)- the workhorse of all crowns. Most crowns placed are made of porcelain fused to metal. The advantages are that they are durable and have a reasonable cosmetic appearence for most uses in the back of your mouth. The major disadvantage is that if you get recession, you may see a gray line around the crown later
2. PFZ- (Porcelain fused to Zirconia)- when cosmetics are a concern and when strength is less important, we use this crown. The advantage is that there is no metal in the crown, so we can avoid that dark line as mentioned in the PFM. Zirconia is a tooth colored material that is very tough with porcelain baked over it. The disadvantes are that they are not quite as strong as the PFM and about 20 % more in cost. A great choice for most patients, but not for ice chewers!
3. BruxZir- A solid block of Zirconia that is milled by a computer. The best choice for situations where strenght is critical. Not as cosmetic as other crown choices but great if it's is going to be out of site (ie way in the back of your mouth).
4 Empress (All ceramic)- The most cosmetic crown of all. When properly made you would be hard pressed to tell us that it is even a crown. The advantage is cosmetics, although strength is less. We almost always use these crowns on front teeth. But beware, they are not not great to use as tools, like opening that pretzel bag!
Next, blog- How to make our crowns look as real as they do....