Why Porcelain-Fused-To-Metal?

Do you ever wonder why certain dental treatments are used for one procedure but not another? Each dental material has advantages and disadvantages. You and your cosmetic dentist will weigh the pros and cons when deciding which material best suits your needs. There are several cosmetic materials to choose from and new ones being researched and developed as you read this. The field of dentistry is continually improving its technology, materials, and procedures to make things faster, pain-free, and less costly for the patient. Porcelain-fused-to-metal is a common treatment for crowns. Read on to find out why they are used.

What Are They?

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, or PFM crowns, are a hybrid between porcelain and metal crowns. Metal crowns are strong and long-lasting but do not blend with the patient’s natural dentition. A metal shell is fabricated to fit perfectly over the damaged tooth. Then a porcelain veneer is fused onto the metal shell. Because porcelain mimics natural teeth in opalescence, color, and translucency it gives the crown a natural looking appearance. This way the patient gets the best of both worlds: strength unmatched by other restorations, and esthetics.

Pros and Cons


  • The metal restoration provides stability and strength
  • Blends with natural dentition
  • Long-lasting


  • Can cause gingival inflammation
  • Large part of the tooth structure must be removed
  • Porcelain can chip and crack
  • Wears down adjacent teeth
  • Can be costly

About Your Lake Forest Dentist:

Aside from providing dependable family, general, and restorative dentistry services to our community, Dr. James Fondriest also holds respected academic appointments at the Pankey Institute in Key Biscayne, FL, and the Spear Institute in Scottsdale, AZ, and he is an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Prosthodontics at the University of Florida Dental School. At Lake Forest Dental Arts, Dr. Fondriest combines his impressive array of experience with modern technology and caring, compassionate, knowledgeable staff, and we proudly serve patients from Chicago and all surrounding communities. To schedule a consultation, call our office today at (847) 234-0517.

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