A Cosmetic Dentist Explains the Different Types of Dental Crowns

Dental Crowns San Francisco, CA

Dental crowns do an excellent job of protecting weak teeth with compromised outer structures. By restoring the structure of a tooth, a dental crown also restores the symmetry of a smile. A cosmetic dentist will recommend a dental crown that meets the patient’s requirements. The type of crown they choose will be based on several factors.

How dentists choose the right dental crowns for their patients

Different kinds of dental crowns serve different purposes. Modern dentistry has pretty much eliminated the use of gold and amalgam crowns on front-facing teeth. Still, metal crowns have their uses. In the same vein, most tooth-colored crowns can only take so much stress and pressure. This makes them unsuitable for patients who clench their jaws or grind their teeth. Still, tooth-colored crowns have their uses.

Just what role do crowns play in dentistry? By answering this question, it is easy to get an idea of the type of crown that a dentist would choose for a given situation. Dentists use crowns to:

  • Restore and reinforce damaged teeth
  • Restore the appearance of a person's smile
  • Correct a gapped or otherwise crooked smile
  • Act as supports or abutments to dental bridges
  • Sit on top of dental implants as replacements for missing teeth

Here is an explainer of the different kinds of crowns and their applications:

Gold crowns

This type of dental crown is an alloy of several metals, primarily gold and to a lesser extent, copper. Gold crowns have been in use for decades.

Gold is a noble metal, making it immune to corrosion and oxidation. As such, gold crowns do not react when they come in contact with living tissue, which makes them biocompatible. This type of crown has other advantages as well. One, gold crowns do not cause wear to underlying or adjacent teeth. Two, being metallic, gold crowns do not fracture. This makes them durable.

Silver crowns

These are made of an alloy consisting of non-corrosive base metals. Like their gold cousins, silver crowns are gentle on adjacent teeth. The toughness of silver crowns also allows a dentist to remove a minimal amount of enamel as they prepare a patient’s tooth.

Porcelain crowns

These are tooth-colored crowns that are far more attractive than their metallic counterparts. Porcelain crowns are perfect for front-facing teeth, but they are not as tough or as durable as metallic crowns. For this reason, dentists may recommend a different option to patients who grind their teeth.

So, is there any way to split the difference between durability and aesthetics?

Porcelain crowns with metallic bases

This type of crown strikes a balance between aesthetics and durability. The crown has a metal frame that supports a porcelain exterior. Porcelain-metal crowns are stronger than those made of porcelain alone. That said, it is possible to see the metal base of the crown at the gumline.

If a patient is willing to make this small tradeoff, they can enjoy a tough, tooth-colored crown. The only downside is that the metal part of the crown does make it unsuitable for front teeth.

Dental crowns are good for a great smile and healthy teeth

Our cosmetic dentist does more than improve the look of your smile. They also make sure that you leave their office with healthier teeth or a treatment plan that will get you there. If you’re in the market for beautiful, healthy teeth, call our office to schedule a consultation with the dentist.

Request an appointment here: https://aestheticsmiles.com or call Aesthetic Dentistry of Noe Valley at (415) 493-9143 for an appointment in our San Francisco office.

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