When Are Metal Dental Crowns Still Used?

Posted on: 19 October 2022

These days, when someone needs a dental crown, you often assume they're getting a porcelain crown. Porcelain crowns are often favored because they are the color of natural teeth, and the porcelain can even be customized to match your teeth perfectly. But as popular as porcelain crowns are, they are not the only type of crown being used. Metal crowns still exist, and they're far from obsolete. Here are some situations in which a metal dental crown may still be a good option.

You grind your teeth.

If you grind your teeth, your dentist may recommend a metal crown over a porcelain one, especially for a back molar. Grinding your teeth is quite hard on them and can lead to cracks over the years, even when a tooth has been crowned. The metal amalgam used in dental crowns tends to be stronger than porcelain, so it is less likely to get worn down as you grind. It will also offer better protection for the tooth beneath it. 

Make sure you tell your dentist if you grind your teeth so they can take this into account when making crown recommendations. Often, your dentist can tell by looking at your teeth, but it doesn't hurt to also bring it up.

You're on a tight budget.

Perhaps your dental insurance is not covering the crown, or maybe you don't have dental insurance and have to pay for the crown out-of-pocket. In this case, you can save money by choosing a metal crown. They can be significantly more affordable than a porcelain crown, and there's really no decrease in protection for your tooth. Some dentists do not offer metal crowns, however. If yours does not, and their price for a porcelain crown is outside of your price range, then you may want to ask them to refer you to a dentist who does still make metal crowns.

You've broken porcelain crowns before.

Porcelain crowns are typically very durable and long-lasting. But they can chip, and some patients seem to chew in a way that encourages them to break—or eat foods that are hard on them. If you've had a porcelain crown chip before, then you might want to get a metal crown this time around.

Metal crowns have become less common as most patients prefer the more aesthetic porcelain. However, there are definitely times when metal is still a great crown material to choose. 

For more information, contact a local company like Watersedge Family Dental.