Metal Caps on Teeth: Types and Purpose

Metal Caps on Teeth: Types and Purpose

Feb 06, 2023

Teeth are quite sturdy; they are the strongest tissue in the body, primarily made of minerals. They have an extremely hard exterior (enamel), which protects the soft inner parts of the tooth. But even though teeth are sturdy, they are not indestructible. They can get damaged through decay or accidents.

Thankfully, some solutions can help save teeth from the brink of destruction. One of the common dental restorations we have is dental crowns in Suffern.

Dental crowns are a great tooth restoration since they are designed to restore the functionality and appearance of the damaged tooth. However, dental crowns or caps are made from different materials, including metal.

Metal Crowns, In a Nutshell

Metal crowns or caps are no different from porcelain crowns in function. They all cover a damaged tooth and strengthen a weak tooth.

Getting a tooth crown is a permanent procedure since your tooth has to be prepped. This means that our dentist in Suffern has to remove some parts of the enamel to create room for the crown. Since enamel never grows, you can expect no turning back once you go down this road.

But if you lose the tooth, having it filed down and then covered with a crown would be the best-case scenario.

What Metals Are Used to Create Metal Caps?

Various metals can be used to fabricate a dental crown. Common metals are gold, silver, cobalt, nickel, platinum, chromium, and silver. Most crowns will never be 100 percent a specific type of metal.

Pure metals lack the necessary properties to make the crowns usable. Some of the noble metals we know are quite soft, which makes them excellent in shaping, but they will not strengthen the tooth.

To give you a sturdy and relatively inexpensive crown, our dentist has to mix the metals to create alloys. So, when you see a silver-colored crown, know it is a mixture of silver and other metals.

Metal alloys are categorized as follows:

  • High noble alloys are made from 60% precious metals, such as platinum, gold, and palladium. Gold will have to be 40% of the alloy, making it a bit softer, which means it can last much longer than less noble crowns. Plus, they are more biocompatible.
  • Noble alloys are made from semi-precious metals with a noble metal content of 25% or even more.
  • Non-noble alloys contain non-precious metals and are considered low quality.

But all these metal alloys share similar properties, such as resistance to wear, high fracture resistance, and minimal damage to the surrounding teeth.

Different Types of Metal Crowns

Now that you know the various metals used in dental crowns let’s see the main forms used when making a crown. Here they are:

Gold Crowns

These are yellow-colored fillings made from a combination of gold and other metals such as copper or platinum. Gold crowns are excellent for back teeth restorations since they are not aesthetically pleasing.

Since these crowns are softer, they will not cause much friction or wear and tear to the surrounding teeth. They could be softer, but they are also well-capable of handling the chewing forces and can be ideal for guys who grind their teeth.

The only issue is that they are the most expensive type of crown you will find.

Base Metal Crowns

The base metal crowns usually fall under the noble and non-noble categories. They have a characteristic metallic color. So just like gold, they will be excellent back teeth restorations. Most people find them unappealing and will not desire to have them cover the front teeth.

The Purpose of Metal Crowns

Porcelain crowns could be tooth-colored, but metal crowns have been used for a long time. The reasons for this are as follows:

  • Metal crowns are very durable and can outlast the other dental crown options. Most crowns will last 15 years or more with proper care.
  • They are very sturdy and can withstand chewing force.
  • They are thinner, which means that there will be less tooth structure that will be removed.

Metal crowns can help strengthen a weak tooth and restore its functionality. If you wish to get dental crowns near you, contact us at Dental Wellness of Suffern.

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