Address: 2385 N Ferguson Ave Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: 520-886-3030
Evan's Smile Makeover By Dr. Steinberg
Complimentary Consultation

Tucson Metal-Free Crowns

Allergies to metals are common, with up to 20 percent of people experiencing sensitivity to one or more metals. You may want to see a metal-free dentist if you’re sensitive to:

  • Nickel
  • Chromium
  • Beryllium
  • Cobalt
  • Mercury

Fortunately, Dr. Steinberg can restore your smile with metal-free crowns. Thanks to next-generation ceramics, metal-free bridges and crowns are strong and resilient. They’re also biocompatible, so they don’t trigger reactions like some metals.

PFM vs. Metal-Free Crowns

Until the 1980s, the most aesthetically pleasing crown was made of porcelain fused to an inner metal core. Porcelain fused to metal, or PFM, crowns and bridges are strong and secure on the tooth. Since they are old technology, most dentists learned to place them in dental school. Placing all-ceramic crowns requires newer bonding technology, advanced education, and specialized materials.

One drawback of PFM crowns and bridges is they don’t look natural. Real teeth are slightly translucent, but metal is opaque. While the metal is coated with a white opaquer before porcelain is added, the result is still opaque. Additionally, a dark line will develop where the PFM crown meets the gumline. However, PFMs can still be a good choice for the back of the mouth. 

Types of Ceramic Crowns and Bridges

Early all-porcelain crowns offered the beauty of natural teeth but not the strength. Dr. Steinberg uses all-ceramic crowns and bridges made from space-age materials that are much stronger than the original porcelain crowns.

e.max. These crowns are made of lithium disilicate and veneered with porcelain. They are ideal for restorations in the front of your mouth, where it’s most important that crowns are beautiful and lifelike. e.max crowns’ glass-ceramic composition offers the reflectiveness and color depth of healthy teeth.

Zirconia. This material, made of zirconium oxide, is so strong it’s often called ceramic steel. Zirconia crowns are the strongest all-ceramic crowns available. The strongest zirconia is called monolithic zirconia—crafted from one block of ceramic. Though this sacrifices some natural color variance, the strength is excellent. They’re good for crowns in the back of the mouth where bite forces are strongest, especially if you grind your teeth.

The difference in appearance of PFM versus all-ceramic crowns can be dramatic, as in the before and after pictures below. On the left are four PFM crowns. On the right, the crowns have been replaced with all-ceramic crowns.

A close-up of a patient's mouth. The PFM crowns are distinctly opaque and look fake. The same smile restored with all-ceramic crowns.

Dr. Steinberg can complete most dental work without any metal, from to complex full-mouth restorations. If you’d like to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Steinberg to learn more about metal-free dentistry, please call us at (520) 886-3030. You can also fill out this appointment request form, and we will call you.