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04 April 2014

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last And Are the White Ones Strong?

A dental crown, also called a cap, is used to cover a badly damaged tooth. It looks like a natural tooth.

Life Expectancy of Dental Crowns

Crowns are preferred in restoring severely broken teeth, a tooth that needs a lot of dental filling, or a tooth eaten away by decay. They are perfect for covering a discoloured filling, for protecting the remaining parts of a tooth with a root filling, and for anchoring a denture or a bridge in place.

Dental crowns can be all-metal, all-ceramic, or porcelain fused to metal (PFM). Metals used are usually gold alloy, a base-metal alloy, or other alloys. Ceramic and PFM crowns look just like natural teeth. However, all-ceramic crowns are often weaker than PFM or all metal crowns.

Depending on how you use your teeth, crowns are often expected to last for around seven years or more. Some even last up to 40 years if they are well maintained.

Gold Crowns vs. White Crowns

Gold crowns refer to the all-metal options available, which are typically made of gold alloy. They are popular for being the most durable option since they can withstand even the strongest chewing and biting. They rarely break. Gold crowns are also appreciated for not negatively affecting the neighbouring teeth, meaning they do not cause as much damage to the opposing teeth as the other types of crowns. They are also workable materials. However, their biggest drawback is the fact that they are not white, making them unsightly when used in highly visible areas. They are still good options though for some molars that are safely hidden away at the back of your mouth.

The next option would be the porcelain or white crowns. They are the most cosmetically impressive crowns because of their translucency. This is why they are popular choices for restoring the front teeth. However, white crowns have longevity and strength concerns, making them the least optimal option for back-tooth applications.

PFM crowns, which are also white crowns, are a combination of metal and ceramic crowns. The tooth is covered with a metal shell, which is then protected by a porcelain veneer, making the crown look like a natural white tooth. They are strong, second in strength to all-metal crowns, and they are natural-looking. However, PFM crowns do show a dark line along the crown’s edge, which can only be hidden by the gum line. They may not also be as visually attractive as the ceramic crowns. Although they are strong, they may not be all that durable because their ceramic covering can break or chip off. They also bite on the opposing teeth.

You can always choose the gold crowns if you want lasting service for years. But if you’re also worried about your appearance, especially if you need crowns for easily visible teeth, you don’t have to be conscious about laughing, smiling, and talking with ceramic crowns despite their problem with durability. You can discuss these things over a free consultation with dental clinics such as The Smile Studio.

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