PFM CrownsThese crowns are very strong and provide a stronger bond than regular porcelain because it is bonded to a metal structure.  It’s also extremely durable and can be color matched to your adjacent teeth.

On the down side, because porcelain is harder than dental enamel, there may be more wearing to the opposing teeth with this crown type compared with all-metal or composite/resin crowns.  Second only to all-ceramic crowns, PFMs look the most like natural teeth.

There are three basic categories of dental alloys that can be used.

Each type has its own specific advantages and disadvantages, including: color, cost, insurance coverage, and general physical properties.  They are:

  • High noble (Precious metal: gold, palladium and/or platinum) – has a composition that is over 60% noble metal, of which more than 40% must be gold. *
  • Semiprecious – has at least 25% noble metal content.
  • Nonprecious – composed of various combinations of Cobalt or Nickel, Chromium, Molybdenum, Tungsten, Niobium, Tantalum, Silicon, less than 1% Manganese, Iron, Carbon, trace elements.

* High noble alloys constitute the “gold standard” of dental metals, against which all others are compared.

In recent years, a new type of porcelain covered restoration has been developed. It’s called the pressed-to-metal (PTM) or pressed-over-metal (POM) crown.  They look like a PFM, but the method of fabrication offers a stronger, possibly more esthetic, type of ceramic.

But what if a patient wants or needs the strength, durability and predictability that an all-metal crown can offer, but in the front, for instance, the way a metal tooth looks would simply be too objectionable.  As a solution for this dilemma, it’s possible for metal crowns to be surfaced with porcelain just on the side that shows. Dentists refer to this type of option as a “veneer” or “window.”  That way a white look can be given to otherwise all-metal crowns.

Captek™ Crowns:

A brand of PFMs is the Captek™ crown:  This is an alternative to a conventional cast metal PFM restoration. It is composed of ceramic fused to a Captek 22 karat gold understructure.  Some of the advantages are:

  • Aesthetics – no dark metal margins, no dark oxides produced in casting
  • Strength – 33 percent more density and strength, outperforms conventionally cast metals in fracture resistance tests
  • Highly accurate internal fit and marginal integrity
  • Less tooth reduction required
  • Biocompatibility
  • Less bacterial accumulation resulting in healthier periodontal tissue
  • Resistance to corrosion and oxidation
  • No toxic or allergic reaction with nearby soft tissue
  • Long lasting

CAD-CAM (Computer Aided Design – Computer Aided Manufacturing) technology:

This is an innovation in dentistry, offering extraordinary accuracy of fit and contour of crown restorations, that was developed in the mid-1980s, with technological advances since then. It uses a computerized system that has a special wand to scan a tooth that has been shaped for placement of a new crown. The information is then fed from a computer to a milling machine that sculpts an exact-fitting and strengthened “ceramic core” of the crown.  Porcelain is then baked on the outside of this core to mimic tooth form and color, and to impart its natural brilliance and translucence.  The crown is then permanently cemented to the remaining portion of the natural tooth.

If you are interested in porcelain fused to metal in Costa Rica, fill out the “Find a Dentist” form on this page.  One of our patient advocates will reply to your needs.