December 13, 2023
Dental crowns have been used for centuries to restore compromised teeth to their former shape and function. Until not too long ago, dental crowns were typically made of metal or had porcelain shells over metal bases. While these could be fine restorations, they often presented cosmetic issues or concerns for people with metal sensitivities. Here are a few reasons why it can be an excellent idea to replace your old metal crowns with new metal-free ones.
Metal Can Trigger Allergic Reactions or Have Toxic Effects
The materials used in metal dental crowns often include harmful substances such as lead and mercury. Some people even have metal allergies, meaning that constant exposure to metal can lead to chronic inflammation and other health issues. Since metal-free crowns contain no metal, there is no possibility of patients having a negative reaction due to metal allergies or the toxic properties of heavy metals like mercury.
Metal Crowns Are Conspicuous
Human teeth are naturally a yellowish-white shade, but metal crowns are usually a grey, black, or steel color. While porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can look like normal teeth for a while, they can eventually begin to show a thin black line of metal around their bases as they age. This makes them quite obvious to casual observers when a patient smiles, speaks, or laughs. Metal-free crowns are virtually indistinguishable from natural teeth, meaning that no one but your dentist will know that you have them unless you tell someone.
Metal-Free Crowns Are More Comfortable
Metal is an excellent conductor of heat and expands and contracts due to temperature changes. While this makes it a wonderful material for many machines, structures, and various consumer products, it can make it uncomfortable to wear in the form of a dental crown. When a person drinks hot or cold beverages, their metal crowns can change shape, causing stress to the tooth underneath. Since the metal will also quickly change temperature, it can carry heat to or draw heat away from the tooth, resulting in uncomfortable sensitivity.
Metal-free crowns, on the other hand, are much more stable when exposed to these shifts in temperature. They will retain their original shape and will not rapidly change temperature, allowing the teeth wearing them to remain undisturbed by hot coffee or a cherry slushie.
Metal-free crowns are the best available way to restore a compromised tooth. If your metal crowns are ready for replacement or if you’re just sick of dealing with them, consulting with your dentist can determine if replacing them with metal-free ones is a good option for you.
About the Author
Dr. George T. Philip earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine at the Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine in 2003 and purchased his own practice in 2004. He is a proud member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the Texas Dental Association. His office in Sunnyvale, TX offers general, cosmetic, emergency, and restorative dentistry such as dental crowns. For more information on the benefits of metal-free dental crowns, contact his office online or dial (972) 285-6144.
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