There are many different materials used when dental crowns are manufactured by a dental technician. Although not always the case the material often used during dental restorations is porcelain.
Porcelain mimics a natural tooth very well but it would be too brittle if it was not fused to a structure causing breakage.
This structure which is encased by the crown itself provides the crown with strength but various materials used to build the structure have definite advantages over the others.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
This is the most common material used throughout the world because it provides strength to the porcelain at the cheapest price. This is not to say that the crown is a bad choice. Your dentist will still use quality porcelain and your dentist and technician should be able to get the size, shade and shape right for you.
The disadvantage is that the colour of the metal can shine through the porcelain and give a slight grey effect to the crown. This material is metal so people with sensitivities or allergies to metal should avoid.
Porcelain Fused to Titanium
The porcelain is fused to titanium in this case rather than metal. The titanium can be shaped slightly better than the metal version and is lighter.
The disadvantage is that the cost is slightly higher than the standard crown and the grey colour of the metal can shine through the porcelain giving a grey appearance to the crown.
This metal is less popular with Hungarian dentists but it used to be popular with dentists who placed implants as the implant and the crown structure is made of titanium.
Porcelain Fused to Gold
This used to be a popular choice as the gold was very malleable but titanium became more popular as it had all the advantages of gold and none of the disadvantages.
Gold commands a high price tag and a yellowish colour can shine through the porcelain giving a yellow look to the crown. This material is rarely used by dentists in Budapest or elsewhere in Hungary.
Porcelain Fused to Zirconium
The disadvantage is price and manufacturing times are slightly longer. Zirconium is normally used just for the front teeth with standard crowns being placed in the back of the mouth if needed.This is a new material on the market compared to the others but taking the world of dental aesthetics by storm. High quality porcelain is fused to a structure made from Zirconium. This is one of the strongest man made materials on the market and is white in colour. Unlike metals the white of the zirconium material shines through the porcelain making the tooth look even more natural. The clear advantage over any of the metals is excellent aesthetics without losing strength. This is ideal for both cosmetic dentistry and patients who have sensitivity to metals.
When patients travel to Hungary there are only really two materials to choose from:
– Porcelain fused to metal
– Porcelain fused to Zirconium
The other materials have fallen by the wayside.
Standard crowns cost around £170 to £220 in Hungary compared to £800 to £1000 on a like for like basis in the UK. Zirconium crowns start at £280 to £360 in Hungary compared to around £1,200 upwards in the UK on a like for like basis.
The material is important but not any more important than getting the crown the correct size, shape and colour.
The argument is whether it is worth it to pay more for the zirconium to get a slightly better result. For some people it is worth it whilst not worth it for others.