Why Do Crowns Use High Noble Metals?

crown high noble
Johnoaz / Pixabay

We're glad that you asked! Simply put, the crown of your tooth is the part that extends visibly above your gum line. A crown with high noble metals, therefore, is a crown that is made of a high noble metal(such as silver, gold, platinum, and palladium,). The composition of these will be at least 60% or above. Crowns come in various permutations to fuse function with style and to better meet your dental requirements. So why high noble metals? Let's discuss a little about them so that you can make an informed decision if the time comes when you might need one!

Are dental crowns toxic?

Not at all. The materials, such as high noble metals, were selected so as to be completely safe residing in your mouth. That said, there is one potential pitfall and it regards amalgam fillings.

To understand this pitfall you need to understand the composition of amalgam. Amalgam fillings for your cavities have been in use for over 150 years by Dentists due to their durability for chewing. They are composed of the following:

  • tin - a silvery-white metal, tin has a number of uses including the prevention of corrosion.
  • palladium - a precious metal sometimes used in lieu of platinum, aside from dental uses it also has catalytic reaction qualities that make it of use for such items as catalytic converters in your car for the exhaust system.
  • indium - Indium is used for making a number of electronic components as well as for the creation of silver mirrors that tarnish at a slower rate.
  • zinc - With a number of uses in pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, and more, zinc is commonly also a part of many allows such as bronze, brass, or nickle. It is also good for you health wise and one of the minerals that your body needs daily..
  • copper - Aside from its dental applications, copper is also widely used in wiring and U.S. coins are all alloyed with it. It is also commonly used in gun metals.
  • mercury - Here is our problem child. Once commonly used for such things as batteries and fluorescent lighting, mercury is also good for forming amalgam alloys. The problem? Mercury is poisonous and so it requires certain safety measures for dental usage.

When crowns are applied over amalgams

are dental crowns toxic
geralt / Pixabay

This is when the trouble begins. If a dentist accidentally applies a crown over an amalgam filling, In a case like this, the mercury can sometimes seep into the blood vessels where it can spread to your nerve tissue and your bloodstream. Just make sure your dentist is extra careful to avoid this potentially happening to you.

Types of crowns available

  1. Milled Crowns - These are durable and quick to make, typically requiring around 15 minutes to be fabricated in the Dentist's office.
  2. 100% Porcelain or ceramic crowns - Available for those with metal allergies, while they may chip or fracture more easily then a metal and porcelain fusion they are excellent for front teeth due to their coloration.
  3. 100% Resin - These are the cheapest of the bunch but they can easily fracture or crack.
  4. High Noble crowns - Best for teeth in the back rows, these do not chip or fracture as easily as the others.
  5. Stainless steel - Typically temporary, stainless steel crowns are often worn by children until the tooth falls out on its own. With adults, it's a temporary solution while the permanent crown is being manufactured.

“Receding gums may reveal metal portions of the crown.”

  1. Porcelain fused to high noble metal - This crown will look like your normal teeth and while it can still crack there is also a disadvantage that receding gums may reveal metal portions of the crown.

What about a titanium dental crown?

Titanium is used in dentistry, however, not for making crowns. Titanium is used for dental implants. Dental implants are an option that is used when you need to replace a tooth but there is not a partial tooth to anchor it on. This method involves a frame attached to the jaw or just underneath the gumline where artificial teeth may be implanted on posts.

high noble metal
stevepb / Pixabay

So, how much do crowns cost?

If your dentist has advised that you need to get crowns, how much are they going to set you back financially? Well, that can depend on the location and type of crown, however, we can give you a ballpark figure on the price of the most commonly used crowns.

  • Porcelain crowns - These will require 2 visits, as they must be made in a lab. The cost for these is approximately $1400.00 per tooth without insurance.
  • Porcelain fused to metal crowns - Also prepared for you in a lab, these will set you back approximately $1100.00 per tooth without insurance.
  • Metal crowns - These crowns will typically run, without insurance, at approximately $1400.00 per tooth.
  • Resin crowns -   Resin crowns will likely you run you about $1000.00 - $1100.00 per tooth if you do not have insurance.

If the work seems a bit expensive, don't worry. There are ways that you can save money when you need to get dental work of this sort done. Some examples include:

  • Dental school - This can save you a lot of cash. Students perform dental work supervised by a seasoned dentist and often you can get the work at a large discount or in some cases, free. .
  • Churches and Charities - Some local churches charities will assist with payment of your dental work if you fit their criteria.
  • Dental savings plans - A number of dental plans provide discount dental work. Google 'dental savings plans' and find one that offers discount crowns. You could save a bundle!

We hope that you have learned everything that you will need to known to make an informed decision for your crown work. Your dentist will be able to give further recommendations but this article should give you a good foundation before you get started. Until then, keep smiling!