When talking about ceramic crown and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crown, few people know the former is a sub-division of the latter. It is classified as a single division because it differs from PFM crown in the substructure, as it is made entirely of ceramic while PFM crown of metal inside and porcelain outside.
Most patients with PFM crowns may find a gap between the crown and gums after a few years of wearing, plus a changed color in the gums and broken abutment tooth inside. As a result, the restored tooth looks inharmonious and unnatural white. So a number of people may worry that all-ceramic crown will generate the same result.
Does ceramic crown look as unnatural as PFM crown?
The answer is no. The difference between all-ceramic crown and PFM crown lies in the materials. Ceramic crown is made entirely of ceramic containing no metal, so it won’t release metal ions which make gums black and swollen. Its connection to the gums is so natural, aesthetic and seamless that even a professional cannot notice. Therefore, all-ceramic crown doesn’t look as unnatural as PFM crown.
Different substructures of ceramic crown and PFM crown
Of course, a professional dentist is the key to a good surgery result, but what’s more important is that the patient must be a good candidate for the ceramic crown (please note: the tooth to be restored needs to be trimmed a little bit, so it is suggested to place the crown after the treatment for chipped or discolored teeth, or root canal treatment). Otherwise, the teeth will experience unnecessary long-lasting damage.
All-ceramic crown has the following strengths:
1. Made entirely of ceramic, containing no metal, it is transparent to the light, with natural and harmonious color, while the PFM crown appears black under the light.
2. All-ceramic crown does not interfere with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and X-ray films, while the conventional PFM crown interferes significantly.
3. Ceramic crowns are available under a wide range of brands. Their stable performance enable them to better serve the patients’ needs for esthetic restoration. For example, zirconia crown which is as hard as metal is hard to be chipped.
However, all-ceramic crown also has some drawbacks, such as the necessity of trimming the tooth and high cost. Its regular price ranges from three or four thousand yuan to over ten thousand yuan, much higher than the PFM crown which costs from one thousand yuan to a few thousand yuan. So just like the saying goes, the higher the price, the better the quality.