Metal Crown

metal crownsWhat is a metal crown?

A crown provides a more secure restoration than a filling for a tooth that is badly broken down and/or has extensive fillings and weak cusps. The tooth is shaped and prepared, and the crown surrounds and covers the entire tooth. Alternatively, a veneer, porcelain or composite, is used most often for cosmetic purposes to correct color, alignment, shape and contour of teeth. The veneer is a thin layer of material, involving one more tooth surfaces, that is bonded to the tooth. Also, many think veneers do not involve reduction of tooth structure; however, to make desired corrections and improvements the tooth usually requires preparation (reduction).

Both dental crowns and veneers are great options for restoring your teeth to give you the bright and beautiful smile that you’ve always wanted. Metal crowns tend to be reserved for posterior teeth. Usually they are only used when patients are exceptionally hard on their teeth. For instance when they grind, clench, or use their teeth as tools.

The idea is to have the longest lasting and most natural looking solution possible. If you get veneers or crowns, the changes are permanent. In a few years, you may need additional restorations. The lifespan of either depends on oral hygiene, proper care, and eating habits. Porcelain is easily damaged by chewing or biting on hard substances. It is therefore important to avoid such habits to protect your crowns or veneers, so that your teeth can remain protected for many years to come.

The Safety of Metal Dentistry

The main cause of concern for advocates of eliminating metal amalgam from use in dentistry is mercury. While Dr. Fondriest does not claim any knowledge of the toxicity of the metal, the FDA has approved metal amalgam for adults and children over six years of age. The agency does warn against using amalgam in children under six, pregnant women, or, of course, anyone allergic to the material. But the amount of mercury released from metal amalgam in dental work is negligible and the levels of mercury found even in people with multiple metal amalgam restorations is well below a harmful toxicity level.

Gold’s Place in Dentistry

Dr. Fondriest generally employs gold restorations in his dental practice. In porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) restorations, gold can produce beautiful results when in the hands of a master ceramist, and PFM is much stronger than porcelain alone. Gold restorations are biocompatible (the hard and soft tissues of your mouth integrate with them). They can also withstand chewing pressure and last for decades without corroding. Many people find gold fillings more pleasing to the eye than metal amalgam. Though gold is more expensive than porcelain or other metal work, it results in a combination of strength and beauty that the other restorations alone cannot provide.

Some metal dental work has been surrounded by controversy for some time, because of the potential dangers of mercury or some types of bio-incompatability with some metal alloys used for crowns or onlays. Dr. James Fondriest stands behind the use of gold in dentistry. He truly values the health and beauty of his patients, and he considers these factors in his cosmetic dental treatments. It is very unlikely that any metal would be used if it could be visible.

Does a metal crown cost the same as a porcelain crown?

Normally dentists charge the same fee for porcelain or metal crowns. There are a few exceptions. when many porcelain crowns are being done in the front of the mouth, the complexity of the work increases. Usually artistic smile design is performed and it will increase the cost. If your dentist chooses to use gold instead of a cheap metal, it will cost more. Gold is significantly more expensive than car bumper metal. It also fits better and lasts longer.

Differences in insurance coverage between cheap metal and gold

Crowns are typically used to treat both functional and aesthetic issues and are likely to be covered by dental insurance. The amount the insurance company pays depends on your policy plan. some companies pay the entire amount while others only pay an arbitrarily assigned UCR. UCR suposedly stands for usual and customary amount. Actually, that is the UCR from 1976 when dental insurance started.

The cost of high noble crowns cost more to create and the insurance companies know that. They are reimbursed at a higher amount.

If you would like to learn more about the importance of strong, beautiful dental work, please call our practice today. Dr. Fondriest provides high-quality cosmetic dentistry to patients in the North Shore and the greater Chicago area.

Dr Fondriest is a Nationally recognized and highly sought after cosmetic dentist. He serves clients from throughout the United States 

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