Dentist In St. George, UT
Discusses Dental Crowns

To preface this section, let’s start with some background. There are three types, or families, of crowns that are available from dental offices: Porcelain (a type of glass) fused to metal or PFM, similar to the bathroom sink; full cast solid metal, usually a high gold alloy; and all-ceramic. The PFM crown has been the main crown used for decades. Chances are, if you have a crown in your mouth, it is a PFM. Because porcelain is so weak, it is fused to a thin metal layer to add strength. If you have a PFM, you may notice a grey line at the gum line. This is the metal layer shining through.

There are different types of crowns that you can get from your dentist’s office. One of these crowns, which is the one that seems to be the most popular, is porcelain. When this crown is placed in your mouth, your dentist in St. George, UT will actually fuse it to metal. This is called a PFM crown and is usually a high gold alloy and all ceramic. Dentists have been using this type of crown for decades and it seems to be the popular among them. If you have ever gotten a crown, this is probably the type that you have in your mouth.

Gold alloy crowns are crowns that have been fused with gold, copper, and some other materials. This is a very strong crown that generally does not fracture or break. It holds up very well on the tooth once it has been put in place.

There are also base-metal crowns that are very durable and hold up pretty well. They are made of non-noble metals and require the tooth to be very healthy in order to use this type. These are some of the strongest crowns.

The majority of ceramic crowns that we make are Zirconium Oxide. We use it primarily on the back teeth. While Zirconium Oxide is sturdy and durable,aesthetically it is not quite as natural looking as the other types of ceramics. It is the type of crown that will look fine on your back teeth because your friends will not be looking that far into your mouth. Some of our patients ask for them on their front teeth, which we can do. Not a lot of people could spot one if you decide you want them on your front teeth, but we generally will suggest the crowns made of Lithium Disillicate. This type of crown is very strong and it can go on the front or back teeth. It looks so much like your real teeth that no one will even know its there. Not even you!

Many of the crowns that we use can be made in the office. We have the equipment that will make the crowns and help to get you out of the office very quickly. Technology is always changing and the dental world is no different. The only crown that cannot be made in the office is the Zirconium Oxide crown. It is such a hard material that it would take a long time for us to make it in the office.

Although, we know you will need a crown soon, if we cannot make it in the office, we will fit you for a temporary crown. Our lab will usually make it in 6 days. This is quick compared to many other labs. If you do need a crown, we can fit you and get you on your way to having a beautiful mouth.

Getting a crown is much easier than it sounds. We will give you the options that we have for you and you can tell us exactly what you want when it comes time to fit you for the perfect crown.

Watch this short video demonstrating the strength of Zirconium Oxide compared to the PFM.

The majority of ceramic crowns that we make are Zirconium Oxide. We use it primarily on the back teeth. While Zirconium Oxide is strong and durable, esthetically it is not quite as natural looking as the other types of ceramics, though it still looks pretty darn good. It is great for back teeth where most people won’t be staring at them. However, we have placed them on the front teeth for patients who have requested it. The untrained eye probably wouldn’t detect the difference. For front teeth, we like to use Lithium Disilicate. It is strong enough to put on the back teeth but looks as good and realistic as any other type ofceramic.

All of these ceramics except for Zirconium Oxide can be milled by CAD/CAM scanning/milling machines at dental offices that have the equipment to do so. That is where you hear the term “one-visit crowns”. We should say, all of these ceramics except for Zirconium Oxide can realistically be milled in-office. Zirconium could be milled on these machines, but because the material is so hard, it would take a long, long time to make a crown.

Since the majority of crowns made are for back teeth, and these CAD/CAM machines cannot realistically make same-day Zirconium Oxide crowns, we outsource these crowns to a well-known dental lab in California. This lab is known for their quality. In fact, the lab we use is the same lab that pioneered Zirconium Oxide for use in crowns in 2009. This lab has a turn-around time about half that of other dental labs. They require six business days. So if you need a crown, you will still have to wear a temporary crown, but probably only about half the time as you would at most other offices.