For many decades dentists have experimented with different materials to be used as CEREC crowns. Each material has its own merits and demerits. Dentists as well as patients prefer different materials depending on their specific choices and needs. Here are the types of CEREC crowns available.
Among the various materials, gold crowns have proven to be most effective in terms of functionality, resilience and a long life. Gold is the most biocompatible material, so the dentists have traditionally preferred it to make crowns. Secondly, the malleability of gold is so good that it can easily take the exact shape of the tooth. Its reaction to hot and cold materials also matches closely with that of a natural tooth.
However, the downside of gold is that it compromises the oral aesthetics because of its conspicuous color. Therefore, dentists generally prefer to use gold only for the back teeth that are not easily visible from the outside. But for the front teeth, gold is almost never considered for a crown.
Porcelain fused to a metal crown
The cosmetic limitation of gold has prompted dentists to experiment with other materials that may deliver the same functionality along with better aesthetics. A few decades ago, dentists began using porcelain fused to a metal crown. The metal served the purpose of providing the necessary base strength to the crown, and porcelain on top of it to hide the metal. Porcelain matches nicely with the natural teeth, so from a cosmetic perspective it appeared to be a good solution.
However, over a period of time the metal beneath the porcelain would leak, or become dark. It gave an unsightly look that defeated the whole purpose of a natural looking CEREC crown.
Porcelain technology has improved greatly over the years. Now very strong qualities of porcelain are available that are able to withstand the grinding pressure exerted by the teeth. Earlier, the porcelain crowns used to fail quickly, but now the superior grade porcelain materials are showing much better resilience. There are patients who have been using porcelain crowns for a number of years without trouble. Porcelain is aesthetically the more superior material for the teeth, which makes it an ideal choice.
At the end of the day, it is still a matter of personal choice between gold and ceramic crowns. Gold is a natural element, and no synthetic material has been able to replicate its natural qualities. Ceramic, on the other hand, has excellent cosmetic advantages. For the front teeth, ceramic does score over gold crowns for most patients.