If your dentist has informed you that you need to have a crown put on one of your teeth, you were probably given several different material options at different price points. Metal crowns tend to be the least expensive (unless you're choosing gold, which is very rare these days), and composite crowns tend to cost a bit more. The most expensive common option is usually porcelain. Before you say "no" to porcelain because of its higher price tag, consider these three reasons why it might be worth paying a bit more for this material.
Porcelain is tooth-colored, and it does not stain.
Metal crowns are, well, metal colored. If the tooth is one you can see when you open your mouth, you may not like their appearance. Composite crowns are made in the color of your tooth, but some composite materials may stain over time, causing the crowned tooth to be a bit obvious. Porcelain, however, is made in the color of your tooth, and it stays that color for as long as it is in your mouth -- no matter how much coffee or red wine you drink. If you're self-conscious of your smile and you need the crown on a tooth you can see, it's hard to do better than porcelain.
The body tolerates porcelain well.
It's a non-reactive material, which means your body won't react negatively to having it in your mouth all day, every day. While most patients tolerate metal crowns well, there are a few who don't -- and you won't know if you're one of them until the crown is in your mouth and you start experiencing weird symptoms like tongue swelling and a bitter flavor. It might be worth your while to just choose porcelain from the get-go and avoid this risk.
Porcelain is really, really hard and is less prone to fracture.
Composite crowns are also tooth colored, so for many patients, it comes down to choosing between composite and porcelain. However, porcelain is more durable than composite. It is less likely to crack if you bite down hard on something, and it is less likely to wear away and need to be replaced. If you don't want to have to sit through additional dental appointments to have your crown fixed one day, porcelain is a good choice.
While porcelain is a great option for many patients, you should not feel badly if you cannot afford it either. The advantages of porcelain over metal and composite are not huge and staggering. Both metal and composite crowns can be safe and effective, too. Contact a local dentist, like Hurst Family Dental, for more information.