Question: My dentist says she wants to do a porcelain crown on my front tooth? Why does she need to do a crown? Can't she just do bonding?

Answer: It's difficult for me to answer whether or not you need this without seeing your case. A porcelain crown is much stronger than bonding, and that is the justification for doing it.

But let me take this opportunity to explain a little more about porcelain crowns. Just saying "porcelain crown" doesn't explain enough what your dentist is doing. There is a great deal of difference between a pure porcelain crown and a porcelain fused to metal crown.

General dentists favor porcelain fused to metal crowns because they are much easier to place, and they don't require sophisticated bonding technology.

Cosmetic dentists, however, strongly favor, for front teeth, all-porcelain crowns. Since these have no metal in them, they can be made translucent, just like your natural teeth. When these are well-made, it is difficult to tell them from a natural tooth.

Dental schools generally teach the techniques for porcelain fused to metal crowns. Doing an all-porcelain one well requires extra training and artistic ability, and we strongly recommend that a patient go to an expert cosmetic dentist for this service.


porcelain fused to metal crowns

Porcelain fused to metal crowns. Note the opaque, lifeless look and the dark black line at the gumline.

Click on the photo to see a more detailed view.

porcelain fused to metal crowns replaced

Here the porcelain fused to metal crowns have been replaced by beautiful all-ceramic crowns by Dr. Sue LeBlanc of Hammond, Louisiana.

Click on the photo to see a more detailed view.

Related information:

For referral to an expert cosmetic dentist, click here.

To return to the frequent questions page, click here.

By Dr. David Hall

Written by a cosmetic dentist!

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