Dr. Hillary Peck recommends a crown when fillings become too large causing the tooth to crack or break. In the past, porcelain crowns had to have a metal base to provide strength and stability. Now with the highly developed bonding technology, a crown can be prepared out of pure porcelain. These all porcelain crowns look like your natural teeth with their gloss and translucency. Having completed the Frank Spear Series on cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Peck has been thoroughly trained with an artistic eye for matching your existing teeth in shape, color, and character.
A porcelain crown bonded to a metal base (porcelain fused to metal) is functional and strong, however esthetically may not be very attractive. Under the porcelain the metal is dark, therefore blocking any transmitted light keeping the tooth from looking natural. These types of crowns affect the natural translucency of the tooth. The metal needs to be covered with a white opaque layer, and then porcelain baked over that.
Around the margin of porcelain fused to metal crown there is also a darkening effect where the crown meets the tooth at the gum line. These crowns can be placed under the gum to hide that margin. However, this may not be healthy for the gums. Additionally, the gums may tend to recede over the years and this dark line can show up at a later date.
On the other hand, porcelain fused to metal is exceptionally strong. Especially when you need a bridge (a false tooth suspended between two crowns) the metal framework is stronger than anything else that can be used. At Peck Family Dentistry, we tend to recommend all-porcelain crowns for the front teeth, and porcelain fused to metal crowns for back teeth and for bridgework. In the back, more strength is required, and the esthetics are not as much of a concern.
You may have seen people with crowns on their front teeth and at the same time noticed they did not look real. Look at the pictures below and discover the difference yourself.
Notice the picture on your left is of porcelain fused to metal crowns. As you can see, the teeth look fake and you can notice the dark line toward the gum line. The picture on your right shows the same patient with all porcelain crowns looking very natural like their own teeth.