Westpark Helpful Dental Articles

Zirconia and Porcelain Crowns Look Completely Natural

Non-metal crowns have changed cosmetic dentistry. I am very pleased to be practicing dentistry during these times when we have years of experience with modern materials. For many years the standard practice in dentistry was to place a crown that was made of metal, known as porcelain fused to metal crowns or PFM. These crowns worked well for patients for many years, but there are drawbacks to using the metal, so the profession as a whole is shifting away from metal crowns. Today most practicing dentists use zirconia or all porcelain crowns for their patients.

The look of today’s crowns is fantastic—with the coloring completely matching surrounding teeth and with no shadowing that is normally produced at the bottom of the tooth where it meets the gum line by the metal underlay of a crown. In dental school we specifically used metal fused with porcelain, so a great part of being in private practice now as a general dentist is that I can use materials that are more suitable cosmetically and pleasing to the patient in broader applications.

In my practice I have come to use, almost exclusively, the all zirconia method because the laboratories can do amazing things to produce crowns that look completely natural. Light reflects off a zirconia crown in much the same way it would reflect off of a natural tooth, so it is nearly impossible to tell that the this artificial crown is not part of a natural tooth. Placing such a crown on the front teeth, the esthetic zone, produces consistently pleasing results.

Zirconia and porcelain are tremendously durable and attractive over time. I am inclined to place crowns comprised 100% of zirconia because it is such a reliable material esthetically for the patient. These crowns make both the patient and the dentist smile.

Dr. Brian Gallagher
West Park Dental
Cleveland, OH

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Posted 12/20/2021

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