Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) dental crowns are supposed to be the ideal solution to the problem of making crowns strong and attractive. However, PFM crowns don’t really work as well as they’re supposed to.
For one thing, PFM crowns aren’t very attractive. This means that they can’t perform the essential task of imitating your natural teeth. Here’s why.
Metal Makes Them Opaque
One of the visible characteristics of natural teeth is their translucency. Natural tooth enamel is translucent, and even the dentin has some degree of translucency. Ceramics can do a very good job of mimicking this characteristic: there are many ceramics with about the same translucency as tooth enamel.
But if you put a metal interior under a ceramic facade, it becomes quite clear that this isn’t a natural tooth. The light goes through the ceramic, but stops at the metal, giving away that it’s not a natural tooth. This is a problem from the very beginning and it means that even brand new PFM crowns are not as attractive as they could be.
Porcelain Flakes off
PFM crowns are supposed to combine the attractiveness of ceramic with the durability of metal, but that’s not quite how it works out. Instead, the thin layer of porcelain get caught between the metal support and your opposing teeth, which can often cause it to flake off.
Once the porcelain starts to flake off, you have exposed metal again. Essentially, you’ve combined the fragility of old porcelain with the unattractiveness of metal. And once the ceramic has flaked off, there’s no way to restore it, which means that the crown has essentially failed.
Metal Borders on the Crown
Another problem with PFM crowns is that the metal understructure is visible at the edge of the crown. Ideally, this is supposed to be concealed under the gum tissue so that all anyone sees is the attractive ceramic part.
But although it may start this way, many people experience receding gums after getting their crowns. This may be related to gum disease, but it may also be related to the metal crowns themselves, which can irritate your gum tissue, causing inflammation and ultimately recession.
There’s No Reason to Choose PFM Crowns
What makes these problems worse is that there’s now no reason for anyone to get PFM crowns. Now we have ceramics that are both strong enough to handle natural bite forces and beautiful enough to look like natural teeth. These all-ceramic crowns can do the job that we used to rely on metal crowns for.
And for most people, it’s possible to control the bite forces any crown will have to endure. By properly fitting the crown and adjusting your bite, we can ensure that no crown experiences too much force.
If you are unhappy with the appearance of unattractive metal or PFM crowns in the Hilton Head area, please call (843) 706-2999 today for an appointment with a cosmetic dentist at Beyond Exceptional Dentistry.