All-Porcelain vs Porcelain-Fused-To-Metal Crowns: The Pros and Cons of Each

Posted on: 21 November 2016

When you need to have dental crowns fitted, you might be asked to decide what material you would like it to be made from. Two of the most common types are all-porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM); they might sound very similar, and they do share more than a few benefits, but there are some important differences that divide them.

You can always choose to talk the matter over with your dentist, but here's a quick look at the pros and cons of each option to get you on your way to making the right decision.

The Pros and Cons of All-Porcelain Dental Crowns

All-porcelain dental crowns are, as you might have guessed, made completely of porcelain, and most people choose them over PFM crowns for their cosmetic benefits. All-porcelain crowns come with the advantage of looking completely natural. This is a material that can match the exact shape and colour of your teeth so it will be next to impossible to see any difference between a fake tooth and a normal tooth. They also lack the dark line that comes when you use PFM crowns, and they can be fitted in just one appointment.

Of course, porcelain dental crowns are not free from problems. The main issue here is that they tend to be more fragile than PFM crowns, and a little more of the original tooth will need to be removed for them to be fitted properly. They can also be a poor choice for people with sensitive teeth, and they do cost a little more than PFM crowns.

The Pros and Cons of Porcelain-Fused-To-Metal Crowns

With PFM crowns, a metal layer is placed on the tooth, then a porcelain veneer is fused to it. Since the crown will still be made of mostly porcelain, they tend to blend in well with your smile. However, they don't look quite as natural as all-porcelain veneers thanks to the dark line that is visible between the tooth and the crown. This will be a more important concern if the tooth in question is in a more visible part of the mouth.

Despite these cosmetic issues, PFM crowns are often preferred due to the fact that they are much stronger than all-porcelain crowns so they hold up to damage with more success and usually last a lot longer. They're also cheaper than all-porcelain crowns, and they tend to achieve a slightly better fit.