Dental Education Lecture: Crown Design

We need a crown when our tooth is badly broken.  Everyone wants a new bright white tooth.  However, we may need to compromise the appearance a little bit sometimes.

One of Debra's back teeth is chipping after root canal, due to her heavy bite (Fig.1).  We design a white porcelain crown with metal on the biting surface (Fig.2 arrowhead).  We could place porcelain on the biting surface, but the porcelain is much easier to be chipped over time.  With metal on the biting surface, the crown will last quite long time. 

In most time of our lives, we do not open our mouth as wide as shown in Fig.2.  The metal is barely visible (Fig.3).  It looks nice, as well as in X-ray (Fig.4 arrowhead).  Debra has another metal crown in her upper jaw (*).  Her dental IQ is not low.

In fact, metal crown is not cheap at all, since it contains certain amount of gold. The price of gold is keeping going up. Contrary to our thinking, metal is more gentle to our opposing tooth than porcelain.

Xin Wei, DDS, PhD, MS 1st edition 01/27/2011, last revision 01/27/2011