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Which is Better for Your Dental Restoration? : PFM vs Zirconia Crown

Patients have options when getting dental work done. They can choose between traditional porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns or newer zirconia crowns for their restorations. Both options have their unique advantages, but which one is better for you? Let's delve into the details and explore the nuances of each.

1. Understanding PFM Crowns

PFM crowns have been a staple in dental practice for decades. They consist of a metal alloy base, usually cobalt-chromium or nickel-chromium, fused to a layer of porcelain. This combination offers strength and durability while maintaining a natural-looking appearance. The metal alloy provides the structural integrity, while the porcelain layer replicates the color and texture of natural teeth.

Advantages of PFM Crowns:

Durability: The metal base ensures long-lasting restorations.
Natural Appearance: Match the porcelain layer to the color of surrounding teeth.
Affordability: Compared to some other restoration options, PFM crowns are generally more cost-effective.
Zirconia Crown

Disadvantages of PFM Crowns:

Metal Allergies: Some patients may have allergic reactions to the base metal alloys.
Metal Visibility: Over time, the metal base can become visible, especially at the gum line, affecting the aesthetic appeal.

2. Exploring Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns, on the other hand, are a modern alternative that offers a high level of aesthetics and durability. Zirconia is a ceramic material that is extremely strong and resistant to wear. Milling it to precise specifications ensures a perfect fit and seamless integration with the surrounding teeth.

Advantages of Zirconia Crowns:

Aesthetics: Zirconia crowns offer a highly natural-looking appearance, with no visible metal.
Strength: Zirconia is a very strong material, capable of withstanding heavy chewing forces.
Biocompatibility: Zirconia is biocompatible, reducing the risk of allergic reactions.

Disadvantages of Zirconia Crowns:

Cost: Zirconia crowns tend to be more expensive than PFM crowns.
Sensitivity to Technique: The precision required for milling zirconia crowns makes them more technique-sensitive.

3. Making the Choice

In choosing between PFM and zirconia crowns, it's essential to consider factors like budget, oral health, and personal preferences. If you have a metal allergy or are seeking the utmost in aesthetics, zirconia may be the better choice. However, if durability and cost are your primary concerns, PFM crowns could be a suitable option.

It's also crucial to consult with your dentist or dental lab. They can assess your individual case, taking into account the condition of your teeth, gums, and surrounding tissues. They will provide you with personalized recommendations based on your specific needs and goals.


In conclusion, both PFM and zirconia crowns offer excellent dental restoration options. You should make the choice between them based on your unique circumstances and desired outcomes. With good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups, both types of crowns can provide long-lasting and beautiful results.


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