Metal and porcelain dental crown – What you need to know

Porcelain metal dental crown

Wouldn’t it be wise to know a little more about metal and porcelain dental crowns if you want to use this material for your dental treatments?

Even if they are not as aesthetic as 100% porcelain crowns or dental zirconia crowns, they are still a good choice for restoring back teeth (molars and premolars).

Metal fused porcelain (PFM) crowns are more affordable than all ceramic crowns.

There can be huge price differences between your country and Colombia regarding PFM dental crowns. The differences are not attributed by metal, but by the exaggerated profit margins of some dentists.


Colombia 275 $ us
Canada 1100 $ us
UK 1200 $ us
USA 1200 $ us


What is a PFM crown?

Metal fused porcelain crowns (or PFM crowns) are crowns in which porcelain is fused to most or all parts of the tooth. They are a hybrid between porcelain and metal crowns. The entire crown is covered with a layer of porcelain.

The metal structure is thin, solid and adapts perfectly to prepared teeth. It is a combination of different types of alloys designed so that they adhere very well to porcelain. High-melting metal alloys are used to melt porcelain on the surface of the metal. This ensures that the porcelain will bond to the metal without changing color.

When the tooth is prepared for such crowns, much of the dental tissue is removed, leaving room for porcelain as well as for metal.

A porcelain layer is melted on the metal shell. The porcelain layer has a thickness of 1.5 mm to 2 mm depending on the region of your tooth. The porcelain layer is very resistant to chewing forces and looks like your natural teeth.


Types of metal for porcelain dental crowns

The metal structure is a combination of different types of alloys. The type of structure is one of the factors that determine the price for your metal and porcelain (PFM) crown.


1. Porcelain melted on alloys of base metals

This type uses a combination of base metals which are very popular in dentistry. However, some of you may be allergic to some of the base metals such as nickel. By opting for noble metal crowns like titanium or gold, you avoid allergies.


2. Porcelain melted on titanium alloys

Titanium alloys have the properties of noble metals such as gold. As they have superior properties, they are useful for implants and other dentures. Our dentist builds a crown on it and it looks like your natural teeth. Alloys based on porcelain and titanium have better properties than alloys with base metals, but alloys in gold have better properties.


3. Porcelain fused to gold alloys

Gold alloys offer the best properties, maximum strength and durability, and do not cause allergies.

A gold alloy is a combination of gold, platinum, silver, palladium, copper and tin. The first four metals in a gold alloy are called noble metals because they have superior properties. The last two metals are called base metals. The more precious metals present in a gold alloy, the higher the price and the better the properties.

Generally, gold alloys are 16 carats. Thus, gold alloy crowns also have resale value. The composition of gold alloys varies depending on the use. PFM crowns, gold inlays and gold crowns / bridges have a different composition depending on the properties required.

If you use a gold alloy in a PFM crown, gold represents 40% of the crown, other precious metals such as platinum, silver and palladium 20%, and base metals 40% of the crowned. Sometimes your crown can have more than 25% noble metals and the rest are base metals.

Gold does not corrode, does not cause allergies, binds very well with your teeth and lasts longer. A major advantage of a gold base is that even if we prepare a thinner crown to preserve the natural structure of your teeth, gold has the same properties. The thickness does not determine the strength of the gold.


The advantages of dental crowns in PFM

They are strong and durable. They have existed for over 35 years. In fact, many are replacing their 100% porcelain crowns with PFMs. The reason being that the underlying metal makes your crown stronger and more stable. The metal improves the bond to the tooth.

They look like natural teeth. You can choose from several shades to make them look like your other teeth. A unique property of porcelain is its translucency and its ability to imitate your natural teeth. (Translucency is the phenomenon in which light partially passes through the object. Your natural teeth have a certain translucency.)

High success rate. PFM dental crowns have a very high success rate in the long term.

Great stability and resistance. The best advantage of PFM crowns is the stability and resistance which are incomparable to all other restorations available today.

Natural appearance. These are the best crowns for patients looking for a natural look.

World recognition. PFM dental crowns are a preferred choice when dental bridges are required. Since PFM crowns are a combination of porcelain and metal, they are used worldwide.


The disadvantages of PFM dental crowns

Loss of your dental structure. As PFM dental crowns have a metal base underneath, your dentist must remove a large part of your tooth to adjust them. The more natural the structure of your teeth in your mouth, the better your oral health. However, if you opt for a gold base underneath, your dentist can file your teeth less.

May cause gingivitis. PFM crowns increase the risk of gingivitis more than other types of crowns. However, a gold base is ideal for your gums, as your body tolerates it well.

May harm your opposite teeth. When you chew, your teeth between your two jaws come into contact. Porcelain tends to wear away opposing teeth in the long run.

A gray line. PFM crowns restore your appearance, but other crowns such as 100% ceramic crowns provide a better smile. Over time, the gum line of the PFM crowns darkens and a gray line appears there, which is visible when you smile. This is especially true when your gums start to deteriorate due to the aging process.

Some alloys are expensive. PFM crowns can be heavy on your pocket, especially when you choose a metal that is a combination of precious metals. However, this guarantees better quality. As these crowns stay in your mouth longer, they can save you additional costs.