There are many different types of full-coverage restorations (dental crowns), but three of the most common include porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), all porcelain, and CEREC® crowns. An examination by one of our experienced cosmetic dentists at the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry will help determine which type of crown is best for aesthetics and your oral health. Meanwhile, consider some of the factors that help determine which type of crown is right for you.

  1. Is Full Coverage Necessary?

Full coverage of a tooth with a dental crown is necessary when a large portion of the tooth is damaged or is badly decayed. Large cavities, breaks, cracks, and fractures in teeth are common reasons for completely covering a tooth. Dentists usually recommend a crown after root canal treatment to prevent the tooth from becoming brittle over time and breaking.

  1. What Preparation Is Required?

Preparing a tooth for a full-coverage restoration is standard for all types of crowns.

  • Your dentist will repair any damage to your natural tooth, including removing decay and if necessary, replacing missing tooth structure with appropriate dental materials.
  • The tooth is reshaped to ensure a comfortable fit and proper bite.
  • Impressions of your tooth will be taken.
  1. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM)

Historically, PFM crowns have been used for teeth regardless of their location in the mouth.

  • The crowns are made in a dental laboratory by a specialist and have a metal base, traditionally a metal alloy. The metal base gives PFM crowns strength.
  • Layers of tooth-colored porcelain are baked on for a natural appearance.
  • It takes about two weeks to fabricate them, during which you will likely wear a temporary crown.
  1. All Porcelain
  • All-porcelain crowns are similar to their PFM crowns, but they don’t have a metal base.
  • Light reflects on the crowns without interference from a metal base, so the crowns look natural.
  • You won’t experience a negative reaction to a metal base, because the crowns are metal free.
  • All-porcelain crowns are preferred for front teeth that show when you smile. But they often are not durable enough for your back teeth, which are regularly impacted by the force of chewing and grinding.
  • Like PFM crowns, they take about two weeks to make, and you’ll wear a temporary crown during that time period.
  1. CEREC Crowns

CEREC technology

There are different types of CAD/CAM machines for dentists, but CEREC crowns are well known by patients because they are marketed more frequently.

  • Unlike other types of crowns, CEREC crowns are made in the dental office, using a specialized computer system and milling machine.
  • Restorations begin as a block of ceramic.
  • The machine uses a digital image of your tooth to carve the restoration, or dental crown, from the metal-free ceramic block.
  • Your dentist will cement the crown in place on the same day it is made.

Although the cost of individual CEREC crowns is comparable to PFM crowns, dentists invest a considerable amount of money in the equipment, so not every dental office offers crowns made using CAD/CAM technology. Research has shown that CEREC crowns are just as strong as all-porcelain and PFM crowns and last just as long. Some dentists are more comfortable using PFM crowns on back teeth, especially if you have a particularly strong bite or grind your teeth.

How to Receive the Right Restoration

Our experienced cosmetic dentists at the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry consider the vital factors for a successful crown, including:

  • How your teeth come together
  • How you bite and chew
  • Your habits that affect your oral health
  • Preferred methods that historically work well for the dentist

Interested in Metal-Free Tooth Restoration?

If you have metal allergies or sensitivities and need a tooth restored quickly, CEREC crowns are metal free. Call us at 404-994-4509 to request a complimentary consultation or an exam, or request an appointment online.