If you have metal dental crowns in your mouth, you should seriously consider replacing them. You might have gotten them because they were the only option available at the time. Today, modern dentistry offers ceramic dental crowns suitable for any situation where dentists used metal crowns in the past.

Although there were good reasons to use metal crowns in the past, today there are just as many good (or better) reasons to get rid of them now.

Metal Dental Crowns Make You Look Old

When people see metal crowns in your mouth, it doesn’t take long for them to figure out that you’re probably an older individual. After all, metal crowns are older technology. Most people also don’t need dental crowns before they reach a certain age. Therefore, wearing metal dental caps can probably send a message that you’re older than you appear. When comparing metal vs porcelain crowns, porcelain crowns will help you look younger. Even if you have porcelain fused to metal dental crowns, the metal may still make an appearance that looks unsightly.

They Can Make Your Teeth Sensitive

You might wonder, are crowns painful? Yes, people with metal crowns often experience significant sensitivity to hot and cold drinks. Metal is a great conductor of heat, so when the hot or cold liquid touches your metal dental crowns, the temperature change gets conducted right down into the tooth. This can end in painful results. If you’re having trouble enjoying your favorite hot and cold beverages and foods or switching between them (hot pizza and cold beer is a common painful combination), you might do better if you replace your crowns. Talk to your dentist about replacing your metal teeth caps for all-ceramic ones.

Metal Dental Crowns Unhealthy

We’re not meant to have metal in our mouths, and that includes not only mercury fillings but also metal crowns. Many metal dental crowns are made of noble metals that don’t interact with our bodies. For example, some made with a less noble metal such as nickel. Nickel not only causes some people’s gums to turn green, but it can cause a significant allergic reaction. This can result in systemic flu-like symptoms that can feel annoying or even disabling.

They Can Interfere with MRIs

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is commonly used in medical treatments to get a clear picture of your anatomy. Unfortunately, metal dental crowns can interfere with your MRIs. Some metals, such as the titanium used to make dental implants, don’t interact with magnetic fields, but other metals, including nickel and gold, will respond when placed in a magnetic field.

At a minimum, these metals can distort the pictures taken by the MRI, which means that in some cases a doctor might have to order your crowns removed in an emergency. But at worst these crowns might become drawn to or repulsed by the magnet, which might cause them to fly off your teeth, causing a projectile injury.

They Have a High Risk of Decay

By designs, crowns cover the entire visible portion of your tooth. They should protect your teeth, oftentimes it may just conceal the damage that’s already happened. In our experience, metal dental caps have a very high risk of decay. Every time we remove metal or porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crown, we find decay underneath.

You might think your crown is fine, but it may not be. It’s better to remove the crown before the problem underneath becomes irreversible and we’re unable to save your tooth.

They Can Corrode Dental Implants

We mentioned that titanium isn’t affected by magnetic fields, but it can help generate an electric current in your mouth. Called a galvanic current, it occurs when two, unlike metals, come together in a liquid with ions dissolved in it, such as saliva. It’s the basic principle that makes batteries work, and it can lead to a weakening of one of the metals.

Normally, titanium is a noble metal that won’t become weakened by this kind of current, but gold is even nobler, and it can lead to the corrosion (rust) of your dental implants.

If you dislike your metal dental crowns or fillings and want them removed for any of the above reasons (or another reason), we can help. Please call (408) 354-5600 for an appointment with a Los Gatos cosmetic dentist at Top Down Dental.