Lake Forest dentist Dr. James Fondriest focuses on comprehensive esthetic restorative dentistry. He offers many services, including porcelain veneers, dental implants, and dental bridges. Today Dr. Fondriest would like you to know about porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, or PFM crowns.
What is a Crown
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover, or “cap,” placed over a badly-damaged or decayed tooth. It completely encases the tooth in a hard shell. Crowns can be used for several reasons. Sometimes a crown is used when a tooth is too badly damaged by breakage or decay to repair with a filling. A crown can also hold together pieces of a cracked tooth. Crowns are sometimes used to improve appearance by covering a misshapen or discolored tooth.
Porcelain Fused To Metal
A PFM crown is essentially what the name implies. In a PFM crown, porcelain is baked onto a metallic alloy substructure called a coping. PFM crowns are stronger than all-porcelain crowns and are better for some patients, depending on their circumstances. All-porcelain crowns are strong, but patients who grind their teeth at night or require long-span bridges might benefit from the strength of a PFM crown. One of the benefits of PFM crowns is that, like all-porcelain crowns, they can be matched to adjacent teeth. Although they are more esthetically pleasing than all-metal crowns, the underlying metal beneath the porcelain can sometimes show through as a black line, especially around the gum line. That being said, Dr. Fondriest can achieve wonderful esthetic results with PFMs.
Depending on the dentist, varying qualities of metals can be used for the coping under the ceramic. Dr. Fondriest uses 14+ carat gold under the porcelain of his PFM crowns. The color of the gold is more easily masked with porcelain, and gold will cast better, resulting in both a better fit and better biocompatibility compared to cheaper non-precious alloys.
Schedule a Consultation
If you have any questions about comprehensive esthetic restorative dentistry or would like to know how Dr. Fondriest’s many services could benefit you, contact our Lake Forest dental office at (847) 234-0517. We serve the Chicago area, including the North Shore suburbs.