100% Porcelain Crowns and Zirconia Bridges
No Mercury.No Metal.
Metal crowns come in primarily two forms, either all gold crowns or metal based crowns with white porcelain layered over the metal to conceal it. Metal based crowns are an older technology that was created in dentistry because at that time the porcelains that were available lacked the durability to make crowns out of 100% porcelain; therefore, a metal substructure was added underneath.
Metal interior crown vs. 100% porcelain crown
The metal substructure causes two issues for the teeth with the crown. The first is that this metal does not bond to tooth structure, and therefore the tooth is not actually sealed. Subsequently, bacterial leakage can occur over the years and cause substantial decay underneath metal crowns
In the picture above, one can see the leakage/decay present on the teeth underneath the metal crown after it was removed. Decay under metal crowns is nearly impossible to detect with dental technology including x-rays and cameras
The second issue with metal crowns is that the metal completely blocks viewing the anatomy on x-rays, leaving dentists helpless to see any decay or issues which may be occurring underneath the crowns. This is why metal based crowns can frequently cause root canals as the decay can spread to the nerve undetected. The first sign that something is wrong is that the tooth begins to hurt at which point it is frequently too late to avoid root canal therapy.
Mercury fillings are frequently hidden underneath metal crowns, with both the patient and the current dentist unable to know this before the crown was removed
This is an example of a patient who eventually lost his front
tooth because no dentist was able to detect that decay had been growing underneath the metal crown for years. The exact reason dentists require x-rays at least once a year on patients is to diagnose decay before it progresses to this point. However with metal based crowns, those yearly x-rays still leave questionable underlying issues such as this case.
With advancements in Dentistry the solution is now all porcelain crowns fabricated using E-Max porcelain. E-Max porcelain is a new technology approximately four times stronger that previous porcelains, therefore allowing dentists to place 100% porcelain crowns with no metal. These crowns can be bonded powerfully to teeth, therefore sealing them off from bacterial leakage much more effectively than their metal counterparts.
Additionally, X-rays pass directly through porcelain, meaning that when patients receive X-rays on porcelain crowns, dentists can actually see what is occurring underneath the crown and diagnose potential problems before they destroy unnecessary tooth structure and potentially cause root canals.