Crowns fit over the top of a damaged tooth to provide protection and restore its natural appearance. What most people don’t know is that crowns can be made from several different materials, and you may be given the option to choose between all-ceramic and porcelain fused to metal (PFM).
There’s no one right answer, but all-ceramic crowns tend to be the better option for most patients. Here are just four reasons why.
- No Metal
As you might have guessed, PFM crowns contain metal. This isn’t a problem for every patient that has one fitted, but some people have metal allergies that make metal crowns a poor choice. Even worse, most people won’t know they have one until the crown is fitted, which usually means having to get it replaced.
Porcelain is a stronger material than ceramic, so you might imagine that PFM crowns are stronger. However, you’d be wrong. Metal and porcelain are indeed very strong, but the bond between them presents a weak point that can lead to cracks over time, especially if you suffer from TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorders) or bruxism (chronic tooth grinding). All-ceramic crowns have no such bond, so they aren’t as susceptible to cracks.
You might be led to believe that PFM crowns look better than all-ceramic ones since porcelain looks slightly more natural than ceramic. Again, it’s the metal that causes an issue. If you suffer from receding gums, the edge of your PFM crown could become slightly visible, creating an unnatural appearance. Additionally, the lack of metal in all-ceramic crowns allows for more natural light transmission.
One final myth surrounding PFM crowns is that they’re cheaper than all-ceramic crowns. Like most myths, this one revolves around a grain of truth; PFM crowns used to be cheaper than all-ceramic crowns, but that’s changed as the price of metals used in the process has risen and the cost of all-ceramic crowns has come down.