Modern technology has increased a dentist’s choices with new materials to restore decayed, worn or broken teeth. The trend is going away from the use of any metal in the mouth. What is best for the patient and what are the benefits and risks?
There are many choices using the new dental materials developed over the past two decades to restore broken teeth to look like the original. You want tooth-colored restorations. These new restorations include; direct composite resins and all ceramic lab or office made indirect ceramic crowns and onlays. The How and What include the condition of the remaining tooth structure as well as overall oral health, cosmetics, durability, longevity, cost and number of dental visits required. Consult with your dentist before treatment begins on the best options for you. The Dentist is responsible for a thorough examination and proper diagnosis to determine the best treatment for the patient, evaluate the benefits versus the risk and determine which treatments are necessary. Fillings are designed to go inside a tooth. Broken teeth and teeth with large restorations with excessive decay may not leave enough healthy tooth structure to support a replacement filling. A crown or ceramic onlay may be needed to restore the tooth so it can function.
A dental crown is a restoration which completely caps and covers a tooth. They are used to improve the form, function, strength and appearance of a damaged tooth or to cover a dental implant. Crowns originally were made of all gold. Technology in the 1960s and 1970s gave us porcelain covered gold crowns and all porcelain crowns. This improved cosmetics, but porcelain is not as durable as a natural tooth or solid metal. Twenty-first century CAD/CAM (3D Printer) technology has developed a chip proof solid all-ceramic crown, bridge or onlays. Computers are utilized to design and mill by machine these restorations from a solid block of ceramic. These meet the dentist’s requirements for fit and high-strength, your desire of being tooth colored. There is no metal sensitivity or allergies with these ceramics.
You can I have a crown with no metal on your back tooth. Crowns showing no metal or no dark edges to be placed on front teeth have been available for years. The problem has been making a porcelain crown strong enough to withstand biting and grinding pressures on back biting teeth. An esthetic, reliable alternative to cast gold and porcelain to metal crowns are now the most popular crowns placed in the mouth, monolithic zirconia or eMaxCAD. Originally the idea was to make something strong enough to replace destroyed natural teeth and broken restorations for individuals who clench and brux there teeth. The solution has now given dentists an alternative to metal crowns with chip proof durability in all-ceramic esthetic restorations. Finally, a seemingly indestructible alternative is available to porcelain fused to gold crowns after fifty plus years. I have observed clinical performance at over three years to be superior to porcelain and resemble that of cast gold. Throughout the country, 80% of new crowns are now metal free, with that number increasing daily.
There exist many choices in restoring your teeth to proper function, which are tooth colored. The ultimate decision about what materials to use is determined between patient and their Dentist.