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5 Things to Know About Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) Restorations

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Restorative dentistry offers a variety of dental treatments that can restore function to teeth that are damaged, decayed, or even missing. In addition to different restoration methods, there are also a variety of dental materials that can be used to fabricate dental restorations.

One such material is known as porcelain fused to metal or simply PFM restorations. PFM restorations are fabricated with a metal interior and a porcelain exterior. Here are five things to know about PFM restorations:

PFM Crowns

Used for Dental Crowns or Dental Bridges

Porcelain fused to metal crowns are often used to restore teeth that are severely damaged or decayed. A PFM crown is cap that is cemented over a natural tooth in order to protect it from damage or further decay. A porcelain fused to metal bridge is used to restore missing teeth. PFM bridges are composed of two PFM crowns with a fake tooth in the middle.

PFM Restorations Have Been Used for Decades

The first PFM crown was invented in the 1960s. Since then, PFM has been used successfully in dentistry for the fabrication of dental crowns and bridges. The fact that PFM restorations have been around for so long show that they are a dependable choice for restoration fabrication. Although all-ceramic crowns can offer aesthetics, they have not been found to be as dependable as PFM crowns.

They Offer Affordable Aesthetics

Nowadays, many people are looking to improve the look of their smile, while also maintaining a rigid budget. PFM crowns and bridges offer the best of both worlds. They are highly aesthetic like all ceramic crowns, but are far more affordable. Because of this, they are highly popular. In fact, Glidewell Dental Laboratories reports that 80% of their dental crowns are fabricated using PFM.

Extremely Durable

One main benefit of PFM crowns and bridges is their durability. Out of all the aesthetic options for dental crowns, PFM is the strongest and most resistant to chips and cracks. Because of this strength, PFM crowns and bridges are ideal choices for restoring teeth located in the back of the mouth. They can also be recommended for patients who grind or clench their teeth. Their strength also makes them last longer than other types of dental crowns. On average, PFM crowns can last about 10-15 years.

different types of dental crowns

They Can Be Made Using Different Metals

PFM restorations can be made using different metals such as base metal alloys(cobalt, nickel, chromium), titanium alloys, and gold alloys. Base metal alloys are a popular choice, but can cause metal allergies in some people. Titanium alloys can be used and are similar to gold alloys, however gold alloys are still considered to be one of the best metals for PFM restorations. Gold alloys are made using 40% gold , a 20% mixture of platinum, silver, and palladium, and a 40% base metal mixture of copper and tin. They have the most strength and durability. Gold alloys also do not cause metal allergies.

Overall, porcelain fused to metal restorations dependable, durable, affordable option that use a variety of metals combined with the aesthetics of ceramic to fabricate dental crowns and bridges. Their positive attributes are the main reason they have been around for so long and are recommended by many dentists for restoring damaged, decayed, and missing teeth. For more information, see “PFM Restorations”.

Dr. Bob Dokhanchi

Dr. Dokhanchi earned the degree of Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) with clinical honors in 1992. Dr. Dokhanchi attends numerous continuing education courses every year in order to stay current with the latest techniques and technology in the world of dentistry. He considers Ethics, Quality, Safety, and Comfort the pillars of his dental practice and believes that communicating with patients is essential to quality dental care.

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