What Is the Difference Between Porcelain and PFM Crowns?

Open Mouth

On the discussion of porcelain and porcelain fused metal (PFM) crowns, there are a few things that are important to consider prior to making your decision.

What is a Porcelain Crown?

As its name suggests, a porcelain crown is a prosthetic dental cap that is composed completely of porcelain. It is designed to cover a filed-down natural tooth in order to restore the space in the mouth and to protect the tooth, as well.

Porcelain crowns provide the closest imitation of a natural tooth possible, and so are usually the first choice of people who are strongly concerned with aesthetics. They are also commonly used for the front teeth, as they are directly in the smile line and can be a source of embarrassment or insecurity for some if they are distinguishable from the natural teeth.

Porcelain crowns are resistant to extreme hot and cold, and so assist in eliminating temperature sensitivities that an individual may experience with a crown that contains metals. They are also the best option for individuals who may suffer from metal allergies. Porcelain crowns are made with zirconia, which give it the strength that is equal to metal crowns.

While in the past porcelain crowns were the less durable option, the new generation of crowns no longer require metal thanks to the use of zirconia. They are equally as strong, more esthetically pleasing, and more comfortable around the gums.

What is a Porcelain Fused Metal Crown?

Porcelain fused metal (PFM) crowns are very similar to porcelain crowns; they are placed directly over a natural tooth in order to protect the tooth and fill the smile line. The difference between the two types of crowns is a durable and protective layer of metal that exists below the aesthetically pleasing outer layer of porcelain.

The metal inside the crown may cause the crown to be less aesthetically appealing; they may be more easily distinguished from the natural tooth. They also face the risk of an increased sensitivity to hot and cold due to the reactive metal layer.

Which is Best for Me?

The decision regarding which option is best for you is dependent on the location in the mouth, the suggestions of your dentist, and your own personal preference. Take into consideration what is important for you, and consider the benefits and risks of both types of crowns. With the information you learned here, you will be able to make an informed decision that will work best for you in protecting your natural tooth structure.

For more information about porcelain and PFM crowns in San Jose, give Willow Glen Dental Center a call at (408) 266-6144.

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