See How a Metal Dental Crown Can Repair Your Tooth
When it comes to dental crowns, there are a few different types to choose from. One of the most common materials used for crowns is metal. Metal-based dental crowns have been around for decades and are a popular choice for many patients.
Learn more about metal dental crowns with the help of our dentists in Seattle.
What Are Metal Dental Crowns?
Metal dental crowns have been around for decades and are a popular choice for many patients. These types of crowns are known for their strength and durability, which makes them a popular choice for back teeth. A metal crown is also resistant to wear and tear and can withstand a significant amount of force.
What Type of Material is Used for a Metal Dental Crown?
There are several types of metal dental crowns available, including:
- Gold crowns are made from gold alloy, which is highly biocompatible and resistant to corrosion.
- Silver crowns are made from a combination of silver, tin, and other metals. They’re durable and affordable but can discolor over time.
- Platinum crowns are made from platinum alloy, which is strong, durable, and resistant to corrosion. They’re more expensive than other types of metal crowns.
- Palladium crowns are made from a combination of palladium, gold, and other metals. They are a good option for patients with metal allergies.
- Base metal alloy crowns are made from a combination of non-noble metals such as nickel, chromium, and titanium. They’re strong, durable, and affordable, but can cause allergic reactions in some patients.
Benefits of a Metal Crown
Several benefits can be gained by receiving a metal crown, including:
- Strength and Durability: These crowns are extremely strong and can withstand significant pressure, making them an excellent choice for back teeth.
- Longevity: They can last for many years, often up to 20 years or more with proper care and maintenance.
- Preservation of Natural Tooth Structure: They require less removal of natural tooth structure compared to other types of crowns, such as porcelain or ceramic.
- Resistance to Wear and Tear: They’re less likely to chip or break compared to other types of crowns.
- Biocompatibility: Many types of metal used in dental crowns, such as gold and palladium, are highly biocompatible and unlikely to cause allergic reactions.
There are also a few drawbacks patients should be aware of when considering a metal crown, such as:
- Appearance: They aren’t tooth-colored and may be more noticeable than other types of crowns, especially if they’re used on front teeth.
- Heat Conductivity: A metal crown can conduct heat and cold, which may cause discomfort in some patients.
- Wear on Opposing Teeth: They may cause more wear on opposing teeth compared to other types of crowns, due to their hardness.
- Cost: They can be more expensive than other types of crowns, depending on the type of alloy used.
- Allergies: While rare, some patients may be allergic to certain metals used in dental crowns, which can cause inflammation and other health issues.
The Metal Dental Crown Process
Preparation and Impressions
The first step in getting a metal crown is to prepare the tooth. Your dentist will remove any decay or damage from the tooth and shape it to fit the crown. They may also need to build up the tooth if there’s not enough structure left to support the crown.
Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist will take impressions of the tooth and the surrounding teeth. These impressions will be sent to a dental lab, where the crown will be custom-made to fit your tooth and bite. In the meantime, your dentist will place a temporary crown on the tooth to protect it while the permanent crown is being made.
When the permanent crown is ready, you’ll return to the dental office for the placement procedure. We’ll remove the temporary crown and place the new crown on the tooth to check the fit and make any necessary adjustments.
Once the fit is perfect, your Seattle dentist will cement the crown in place using a dental adhesive. They’ll then check your bite to ensure that the crown fits correctly with the opposing teeth.
After the crown is placed, we’ll provide you with instructions on how to care for your crown. You should continue to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing regularly, to keep the crown and surrounding teeth healthy.
Metal Crown Costs
The cost of metal crowns can vary depending on several factors, including the geographic location, the dentist’s experience and expertise, the complexity of the case, and any additional procedures required. Generally, metal crowns tend to be more affordable compared to other types of crowns due to the cost of materials and the simplicity of their fabrication process.
On average, the cost of a metal crown can range from $800 to $1,500 per tooth. However, this is just an estimate, and prices can vary significantly. Dental insurance coverage may also affect the out-of-pocket expenses for a metal crown, as some insurance plans may cover a portion of the cost.
Other Crown Options
Since metal crowns can cause an unsightly smile appearance, many patients seek other crown options:
- Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns: These crowns are made from a metal base with porcelain fused on top. The porcelain provides a more natural tooth appearance, while the metal gives strength. However, sometimes the metal base can show through the porcelain, especially if gums recede.
- All-Ceramic or Porcelain Crowns: These crowns are entirely made of porcelain or ceramic materials and are known for their excellent aesthetic properties. They provide translucence and color similar to natural teeth. However, they might not be as strong as metal or PFM crowns, although advancements in materials have improved their durability.
- Zirconia Crowns: Zirconia is a very strong ceramic material. It can be used on its own or layered with porcelain for improved aesthetics. Its strength is comparable to metal, and it can be used for both front and back teeth.
- Composite Resin Crowns: Made from a plastic and glass mixture, these crowns are less expensive than other types. They can be aesthetically pleasing, but they may wear down over time faster than other materials.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, metal crowns are generally considered safe. They‘ve been used for decades and have a proven track record of success. Some patients may be allergic to certain metals used in dental crowns, so it’s important to discuss any allergies or concerns with your dentist.
Metal crowns can last for many years, often up to 20 years or more with proper care and maintenance. The lifespan of a dental crown depends on factors such as oral hygiene habits, diet, and general wear and tear.
While metal crowns are generally safe, they can interfere with some medical procedures, including MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Metal can cause artifacts on the MRI image, which can make it difficult for doctors to interpret the results. If you have a metal dental crown, inform your healthcare provider before undergoing an MRI so they can take appropriate precautions.
Discover if Metal Crowns are Right for Your Dental Needs
Metal crowns offer a strong and durable option for patients seeking a solution to tooth decay or other problems. Talk to Dr. Johnson about your options for dental crowns, and they can help you make the best decision for your unique situation. Contact our Seattle dental office to schedule a consultation and begin your journey to a healthy, beautiful smile.