The modern day expectation is that teeth should be perfectly straight and white. So when artificial crowns are required there is often the expectation that your natural tooth appearance should be matched or even improved upon.
Traditionally crowns were built on a metal substructure. This sometimes resulted in an unattractive grey discoloration on the gum line and an unnatural unattractive looking tooth. A new method was then devised to use a pressed ceramic core upon which to build the crown to counter this. With no metal in the substructure, the translucent ceramic core is then closer in color to your tooth’s natural shade.
All-ceramic crowns also allow for a greater level of customization. Shades can be more accurately matched or even lightened if you want. Discoloration and imperfections can be corrected and improved upon by using ceramic substructures. In addition, the porcelain of the crown bonds better to a ceramic rather than a metal core resulting in a stronger bonded crown.
Aside from the aesthetic appeal, there are other advantages to all-ceramic crowns: Through computer aided technology it is possible to make an exact replica of a specific tooth. Essentially the crown can be cut while you wait, thus saving time and eliminating the usual delay were it to be built up in a orthodontics laboratory.
All-ceramic crowns require less space than traditional metal substructure crowns. The distinct advantage of this is that more of your natural tooth can be retained. There is also less chance of causing damage to the sensitive dentine within the natural tooth. It is a healthier option and more beneficial to you as the patient, in that it reduces sensitivity of the tooth once the crown is fitted.
There are few disadvantages to all-ceramic crowns. The greatest is the significant difference in strength as opposite to crowns that make use of metal substructures. To counter this weakness, most recent technology uses Zirconium oxide as a core. Whilst not ceramic, this white colored material provides strength equivalent to metal.
As technology continues to develop, the improvements generally result in higher quality crowns that have a more natural appearance. This satisfies both the orthodontics professionals in terms of quality and patients who wish for more beautiful teeth.