My front teeth are worn, and they have a good-sized gap. The dentist I’ve been seeing recommended porcelain fused to metal crowns, which sounded good to me until I started reading about other kinds of crowns that are available. It seems like all ceramic crowns like Zirconia might look better on my front teeth. I’ve been waiting a long time to get this done, and I want it to look really good.
When I asked my dentist about the Zirconia crowns, he said that his practice will only do porcelain fused to metal crowns. I am not sure if this is just for me, or if he just won’t do them at all. When I chose this practice, I checked out all the dentists’ credentials, and it sure seems like at least one of them would have the training to do the all ceramic crowns. My dentist says that the Zirconia won’t last, because I sometimes grind my teeth and just can’t wear one of those night guard things.
And one more thing—is it normal to charge more for an anterior crown than a posterior crown? That seems odd to me. I could use some advice!
Elizabeth in Indianapolis, IN
It sounds like you should get a second opinion.
You’ve done your homework well; Zirconia crowns are extremely strong would work very well for front teeth. They can also be made thinner than porcelain fused to metal crowns, which means that more of your natural teeth can be left intact when the crowns are placed, which in turn leaves your teeth stronger and more stable.
I suspect, just based on what you have told me, that your dentist may have impressive credentials, but may not have a true feeling for appearance related dentistry. Few cosmetic dentists would elect to place porcelain fused to metal crowns on the front teeth, if there were any other viable options. This is a very important point: If you do want all porcelain crowns, then you will need to find a different dentist. Most dentists will resist doing procedures they are not comfortable with, and the end result can be disastrous for the patient.
Another concern is your grinding, and resistance to the night guard. As you age, unchecked grinding can ultimately lead to your teeth snapping off at the gumline. I urge you to try again, possibly with a different appliance. And finally yes, it is fairly common for dentists to charge more for anterior crowns than posterior crowns.
Best of luck solving your dilemma.