Although I make many types of crowns, the most natural and aesthetic crown is an all porcelain crown, that is bonded to place. This is the optimum crown for most anterior teeth. Since it is just made of one material (feldspar porcelain), it does not require any opaquing to mask any coping material. If the patient’s natural tooth is essentially intact and sturdy and not overly dark, this crown can be fabricated in an extremely natural and translucent manner.
Think of them as a 360 degree porcelain laminate, requiring less reduction than any other type of comparable crown, and having the same natural qualities of a porcelain veneer. Because they are bonded to place, they are stronger than their predecessor, the original ‘porcelain jacket’ that was cemented with dental cements and notoriously fragile.
Many patients, especially the elderly, are not really ideal candidates for porcelain laminates. Porcelain laminates require enamel to bond to in order to be firmly attached to teeth. Many elderly patients with recession have no enamel on the exposed cervical areas of their teeth. Porcelain Veneers made on their teeth often have a greater likelihood of popping off. Because of the increased retentiveness allowed by a full crown preparation, bonded porcelain crowns do not require as much, if any enamel to attach to ant these restorations do not ‘pop off’.