Q: I recently had a crown (cap) placed and when the dentist was fitting it to my bite, he had to trim a little bit of the crown. Now there are two small spots where the underlying material shows through. He says that's not a problem, but I'm concerned that the porcelain may chip easier. It is on the biting surface. Also, what kind of metallic material is the crown made of? Is there any danger this being exposed in the mouth?
A: In most cases, a few "adjusted" areas on a porcelain crown will not greatly increase the chance of porcelain fracture. However, if the porcelain does fracture, your dentist should stand behind his or her work and repair or replace the dental crown.
The metal in most crowns is a combination of gold, platinum and other precious or semi-precious metals. If the crown is made of one of the inexpensive non-precious metals such as nickel, you may have an increased risk of a nickel allergy.
Ironically, those exposed metal areas, unaesthetic as they are, can actually be better for the tooth you bite against. Porcelain on the crown tends to abrade the tooth it opposes more rapidly than other materials, especially metals.
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