Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns (PFM) - Dental
Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look like natural teeth
and are stronger than ceramic crowns. PFM crowns can be
matched to your natural teeth so they provide an attractive
appearance. However, the porcelain portion can be chipped
off and the underlying metal can peer through as a dark
line. Stronger than all-porcelain crowns, PFM crowns also
wear down, and can show more of the dark line as the gum
PFM crowns are a good choice for front or back teeth.
Made of gold alloy, these crowns are ideal for the back
teeth. Less tooth structure needs to be removed with gold
crowns as they wear less easily than ceramic ones. Gold
crowns rarely chip and can endure heavy pressure biting and
The colour remains its main disadvantage making gold
crowns the desirable choice for back teeth.
Three variations of gold crowns:
- Full gold crowns encase the entire tooth down to the
- Gold onlays possess the same strength as the full
crown but require less tooth reduction
- Gold inlays are gold castings that substitute those
areas typically requiring a filling
Pros and Cons of Dental Crowns
Like anything else, you can expect both advantages and
disadvantages to getting dental crowns.
- Simple method because of minimal tooth structure
- More durable in times of heavy pressure such as biting and
- Easier to fit areas where the tooth and crown meet
- Healthier environment for gum tissue
- Cosmetic factor-most people prefer a natural look
- Aesthetically pleasing
Requires more of the tooth structure to be removed
because of its thickness
Gingival inflammation more prone to those with porcelain
crowns than those with gold
- Natural look
Metal substructure makes the translucency of natural
teeth difficult to mimic so a dark line may appear at the
edge of the crown, near the gum as it recedes
- Discomfort-your crowned tooth may be sensitive after
the procedure. If the crowned tooth still contains some
nerve, that nerve will be sensitive to heat and cold.
- Chipped crown-this most often occurs with all-porcelain
- Allergic reaction-although rare, you may experience an
allergic reaction to the metals used.
- Loss of crown-when your crown falls off, it usually
occurs because of an improper fit or insufficient cement.
When this occurs, replace the crown temporarily with a
dental adhesive found in stores. Consult your dentist