When our dentists, Drs. Diais and Dayeh, rebuild the structural health of a tooth, they can provide crowns made of a variety of materials. Our Odessa, TX office often uses Cosmetic crowns made of body-safe porcelain or zirconia, which achieve natural-looking results, but sometimes our dentists feel that a gold or silver-colored metal crown is more appropriate. Our dentists want patients to understand how porcelain and zirconia crowns are beneficial and what circumstances make them the best choice.
Both porcelain and zirconia closely match healthy teeth in appearance, with porcelain being slightly more natural looking. Both can also last for decades, with zirconia being a little more durable.
The only real issue with using a crown made entirely of porcelain or zirconia is if jaw clenching or teeth grinding are also present in the smile.
Strong or severe clenching can apply more force than porcelain alone is able to take, making that cosmetic option unavailable. Zirconia can be used in some cases but not all. Meanwhile, grinding of any degree puts too much pressure on the teeth at odd angles, making both zirconia and porcelain susceptible to damage.
If either of these conditions is present, you may have to use a metal crown. In terms of clenching, a crown made of a porcelain or zirconia shell fused to a metal base may still be used. This crown is not as aesthetically effective as a cosmetic restoration, but it does allow patients to enjoy both an improved appearance and a functional tooth.
Both porcelain and zirconia have a crystalline structure. This means that they are extremely durable when pressure is evenly applied, making these materials effective for most. However, this structure also means cosmetic crowns can break if overloaded with force or if that pressure is applied improperly.
Clenching and grinding are both caused by subconscious muscle spasms. The amount of force they provide, as well as the direction that force moves, easily overcomes the sturdiness of a crystalline design. These conditions are best served by metal and porcelain- or zirconia-fused-to-metal crowns.
Thankfully, these cases of clenching and grinding are uncommon enough that most patients can still receive a cosmetic crown. There is always a chance you are better served by metal restorations, but you should still ask our dentists if porcelain or zirconia is right for you.
Odessa Dental Solution offers dental crowns to patients in Odessa, Midland, Pecos, and all surrounding communities. We can keep most patients’ smiles beautiful and healthy with porcelain and zirconia, but we make use of metal when necessary. To learn more, call us and schedule an appointment today!