All-Porcelain, All-Ceramic, and PFM Crowns


Porcelain crowns

This patient had a lot of old crowns and veneers over the years. They all were functioning well but they didn’t match and they just looked artificial. She wanted everything to appear fresh and natural so she opted for new porcelain crowns on every upper tooth.

Metal has long been the standard choice for those who need a crown. While metal certainly has some benefits, the alloys used to make dental crowns are unseemly and look nothing like natural teeth. Porcelain is much more aesthetically pleasing. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. James Fondriest will match the look of your new porcelain crown to that of existing teeth, to preserve and even enhance your smile. He will use an all-porcelain (ceramic) or porcelain-fused-to-metal crown (PFM), depending on your case. While we ensure that both types of crowns look stunning, there are some fundamental differences between the two.

All-Porcelain or All-Ceramic Crowns

Dr. Fondriest prefers to use all-porcelain crowns, as opposed to metal. Porcelain crowns are more aesthetically pleasing and can better mimic how the enamel of your natural teeth scatter and distribute light. Ceramic crowns often require less tooth reduction because they are thinner. This means they can match the translucency of your preexisting teeth, whereas metal or PFM crowns don’t usually do as good of a job with light relfection. All-porcealin crowns last a long time, but they are not as strong as metal crowns. For this reason, Dr. Fondriest may suggest a PFM crown for back teeth, where pressure is at its greatest.

Esthetic PFM Dental Crowns

PFM dental crowns have been widely used in dentistry for 35 years. Comprised of baked ceramic to a metal substructure, or coping, PFMs are strong and visually appealing. PFMs provide the integrity of metal without the ugly aesthetic. The ceramic hides the dark, metallic coping and looks like your natural teeth. Most cosmetic dentists only shape the ceramic to hide the coping at the gum line. Dr. Fondriest, however, provides a porcelain-butt-joint-margin that hides the coping below the gum line, ensuring it will not show, even if the gum recedes. While aesthetically pleasing, these crowns are not translucent as all-porcelain ones.

Schedule an Appointment

For more information on the types of porcelain crowns available, please visit us online at To schedule a consultation with Dr. Fondriest, call our Lake Forest cosmetic dentistry office at (847) 234-0517. We serve the Chicago, Illinois area, including the North Shore suburbs.

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