If you need dental crowns applied to one of your teeth, one of the first things you'll need to decide is which material you would like the crown to be made from. Many people choose porcelain crowns since they can be made to be the same color as your natural teeth. This way, nobody can tell you have a crown when you smile! But while porcelain crowns work well in many cases, the alternative, a metal crown, has its benefits as well. Here's a closer look at three advantages of metal crowns.
Less Tooth Structure Needs to Be Removed
Before your dentist applies a crown to your tooth, he or she needs to file down some of the tooth enamel to make space for the crown. Porcelain crowns need to be thicker than metal crowns in order for them to be strong enough. So, with a porcelain crown, more tooth structure needs to be removed. When you opt for a metal crown, your dentist can leave more tooth structure in place. This leads to a decreased risk of sensitivity in the tooth after the crown is applied. It also helps keep your tooth stable and strong under the crown. If your tooth is already quite weak or has large cavities in its surface, your dentist may recommend a metal crown for this reason.
Metal Crowns Are Easier on Your Other Teeth
Your opposing teeth need to grind against the crown. Porcelain, as it turns out, is harder than your natural tooth enamel. So, as your teeth grind against the porcelain, it can cause some enamel wear and damage over time. Metal is a little softer, so a metal crown is easier on your opposing teeth. If you have a history of weak enamel or worn enamel, a metal crown is a safer choice.
Metal Crowns Are Less Likely to Chip
Porcelain crowns are very hard, but they are also a little brittle. Some patients find that their porcelain crowns crack and chip overtime. They need to be very careful not to bite down on anything hard. This is a lot less of a concern with metal crowns, since they are not nearly as brittle. They tend to last longer and are less prone to damage.
If you're seeking a strong, durable solution for your damaged tooth, talk to your dentist to learn more about metal crowns. If you can bear the look of a metal crown, you'll reap the benefits above -- and more.