I have to get a dental crown and my dentist has given me three choices: A PFM crown, an all-porcelain crown, or a same-day crown. He told me to let the scheduler know which I want when I call to make my appointment. The problem is I don’t know which is the best one for me to get. Honestly, I don’t even know what PFM means. Do you have any advice?
I’m glad you wrote. I wish your dentist would have taken the time to explain everything to you, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
PFM and All-Porcelain Crowns
PFM stands for porcelain fused to metal crowns. Basically, it means that they are dental crowns that have a metal base to them. I would only do these on a back tooth. That is because PFM crowns, while stronger, are not as attractive. First, they have to be made more opaque in order to cover the metal base. Second, eventually, there will be a dark gray line that appears on your gum line. This will be visible when you smile. Because of that, I only advise these if you are getting a dental crown on a molar.
If you are getting dental crowns on a front tooth, then I would suggest you get an all-porcelain crown. These will look much more natural than their metal based crowns.
Same Day Crowns
Same-day Crowns, also called CEREC crowns are all-porcelain but are milled by a machine in the office while you wait. This enables you to get your crown the same day as your appointment. While they are all-porcelain, if you want them on one of your two front teeth, I would make sure your dentist understands color theory and the tints and stains available for same day crowns.
Traditional all porcelain crowns are milled by hand. The technician will use a variety of porcelain to mimic the variations in a tooth. CEREC crowns are milled from a single block of porcelain so they will not have those variations. The dentist will need to add those with the tints in order for them to look natural. So, if you’re doing them on front teeth, ask your dentist to show you some before and after pictures of cases he or she has done on front teeth so you know what type of result you will get.
This blog is brought to you by East Cobb Dentist Dr. Cristi Cheek.