A dental crown repairs and restores a tooth damaged by decay or fractures (chips, breaks, cracks). However, not all dental crowns look like natural teeth. For instance, gold, silver, and other metals stand out dramatically from natural teeth. Modern dental materials provide us with durable, long-lasting alternatives to metal crowns.

In today’s blog, you’ll learn about three types of cosmetic dental crowns that look totally natural. This means you can keep your all-white, head-turning smile, even after having a dental crown. 

To schedule an appointment at Thomas F. Brown, DDS Family and Sedation Dentistry, call us today at 630-369-3120.

Porcelain-Fused to Metal Dental Crowns (PFMs)

PFM crowns are ideal for restoring teeth that must endure significant pressure, namely molars. These crowns are made by applying layers of esthetic dental porcelain over a metal base. The metal used may be an alloy like nickel-chromium or cobalt-chromium. By combining the beauty of white porcelain and the durability of metal, PFMs are exceptionally strong.

While the porcelain on a PFM is tinted to blend seamlessly with the natural teeth around it, their appearance is not quite as lifelike as other options. The issue is translucency. Natural tooth enamel reflects light in a specific way, due to the translucency of tooth enamel. Porcelain on a metal base simply cannot mimic this reflectivity.

Further, the margin of a PFM can become visible at the base of the crown. Today’s materials and fabrication techniques have mitigated this issue quite a bit, but in some cases, it can still be an esthetic problem. 

PFM dental crowns usually endure for 10 to 15 years before needing replacement.

Zirconia Dental Crowns

Also known as zirconium dioxide, dental zirconia not only reflects light similarly to natural tooth enamel but also offers exceptional durability and high flexural strength. This means zirconia dental crowns are ideal for molars, which encounter extreme pressure during chewing. They’re also a good choice for bridges. 

For patients who want a metal-free mouth, zirconia crowns present a good option. Each crown is milled with computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) and coated with dental porcelain. They offer a precise fit and optimal performance.

Zirconia dental crowns usually last for 15 to 20 years before they need to be replaced. 

Lithium Disilicate Dental Crowns

Also known as glass-ceramic crowns, lithium disilicate dental crowns are known for their strength as well as superior natural appearance. Their translucency mimics natural tooth enamel. Additionally, lithium disilicate crowns have high flexural strength and resist fracturing well. 

Because of their durability, lithium disilicate crowns require less tooth preparation than other crowns. This allows the retention of an optimal amount of natural dental tissues. The crowns are considered minimally invasive compared to alternative crown materials. 

Lithium disilicate crowns are good for both molars and anterior teeth. Like zirconia, lithium disilicate crowns can be fabricated using CAD/CAM for a precise fit. 

LIthium disilicate crowns endure for up to 15 years or longer.

Schedule Your Appointment for a Dental Crown Today

To learn more about cosmetic crowns or to schedule a restorative dental appointment, call the office of Thomas F. Brown, DDS Family and Sedation Dentistry at 630-369-3120. Located in Naperville, IL, our office is open Monday through Friday and offers early and late appointments. We have served the area for over 35 years and welcome you to join our pleasantly pleased list of patients.