In the world of crowns, looks are everything. Commonly used for front teeth which are most visible, patients want that natural look. Typically, porcelain crowns bond the porcelain to a metal support in a process called Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM). While the process creates strength, the metal support underneath blocks out the light. This gives the crown an opaque and lifeless look. Older porclain crown systems (porcelain crowns without the metal support) normally wore poorly and/or broke prematurely.
The Empress system, unlike its predecessors, makes porcelain crowns without metal, while still strong and durable. Since the crown is made entirely out of porcelain, light is able to pass through. The result is a more natural look, just like your original teeth. There is also no risk of having metal edges showing that sometimes appear with PFM if the gum recedes.
However, the Empress crown is still not as strong as a PFM crown. Therefore, we use PFM crowns on back teeth and for bridgework where added strength is necessary. But for the front of the mouth where esthetics are important, Empress Crowns are very effective.