The Different Types of Dental Crowns Explained

Dental crowns are custom-made caps that cover the entire visible part of a tooth. They are used to restore the shape, size, strength, and appearance of damaged or decayed teeth. Dental crowns can also protect teeth after root canal treatment, support dental bridges, or cover dental implants.

But did you know that there are different types of dental crowns available? Depending on the material, design, and function, dental crowns can vary in their durability, aesthetics, and cost. In this article, we will explain the different types of dental crowns and help you choose the best one for your needs and budget.

What are the factors to consider when choosing a dental crown?

The Different Types of Dental Crowns Explained
The Different Types of Dental Crowns Explained

When choosing a dental crown, you should consider the following factors:

The location and function of the tooth:

The tooth that needs a crown may be in the front or back of your mouth, and it may have different roles in chewing and biting. For example, front teeth are more visible and need more aesthetic appeal, while back teeth are more hidden and need more strength and resistance to wear and tear.

The condition and sensitivity of the tooth and gum:

The tooth that needs a crown may have different levels of damage, decay, or infection. It may also have different degrees of sensitivity to temperature, pressure, or pain. The gum around the tooth may also be healthy or inflamed. These factors may affect the amount of tooth preparation, the type of material, and the fit of the crown.

The preference and budget of the patient:

The patient may have different preferences and expectations for the appearance, comfort, and longevity of the crown. They may also have different budgets and insurance coverage for the cost of the crown. These factors may influence the choice of material, design, and dentist.

What are the different types of dental crowns?

According to our research, some of the most common types of dental crowns are:

  • Metal crowns
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns
  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns
  • Zirconia crowns
  • Composite resin crowns
  • Stainless steel crowns

Let’s compare these types based on their features and benefits.

Metal crowns

Metal crowns are made of gold, silver, or other metal alloys. They are very strong and durable, and can withstand high biting and chewing forces. They also require minimal tooth removal and cause minimal wear to the opposing teeth. Metal crowns rarely chip or break, and can last for many years.

However, metal crowns have a noticeable metallic color that may not be appealing to some patients. They are also more expensive than some other types of crowns. Metal crowns are usually recommended for back teeth that are not very visible.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns

PFM crowns consist of a metal core covered by a layer of porcelain. They combine the strength of metal with the natural appearance of porcelain. They can match the color and shape of your natural teeth, and can be used for both front and back teeth.

However, PFM crowns have some drawbacks. For example, the porcelain layer may chip or crack over time, exposing the metal underneath. The metal may also cause a dark line along the gum line, which may affect the aesthetics. PFM crowns may also wear down the enamel of the opposing teeth faster than metal or ceramic crowns.

All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns

All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are made entirely of ceramic or porcelain materials. They offer the best aesthetic results among all types of crowns. They can mimic the translucency, color, and texture of natural teeth very well. They are also biocompatible and do not cause any allergic reactions or gum irritation.

However, all-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are not as strong or durable as metal or PFM crowns. They may fracture or chip more easily under high biting or chewing forces. They also require more tooth removal than metal or PFM crowns. All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are usually recommended for front teeth that need more cosmetic appeal.

Zirconia crowns

Zirconia crowns are made of zirconium dioxide, a type of ceramic that is very hard and resistant to wear. Zirconia crowns offer both strength and aesthetics among all types of crowns. They can withstand high biting and chewing forces without breaking or chipping. They can also match the color and shape of your natural teeth very well.

However, zirconia crowns are also more expensive than some other types of crowns. They may also require more tooth removal than metal or PFM crowns. Zirconia crowns are suitable for both front and back teeth that need both cosmetic and functional restoration.

Composite resin crowns

Composite resin crowns are made of a plastic-based material that can be molded and shaped to fit your tooth. They are the cheapest and easiest type of crowns to make and place. They can also match the color and shape of your natural teeth fairly well.

However, composite resin crowns are also the weakest and least durable type of crowns. They can stain, discolor, or wear down more quickly than other types of crowns. They may also need more frequent repairs or replacements. Composite resin crowns are usually used as temporary crowns or for teeth that do not need much strength or aesthetics.

Stainless steel crowns

Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated metal crowns that are used as a temporary measure for children or adults. They are used to protect a tooth while a permanent crown is being prepared. They are made of metal and are very strong and durable. They can withstand high chewing and biting forces, making them ideal for molars and premolars. They are also easy and quick to apply, as they do not require any tooth preparation or impression.

However, stainless steel crowns have some disadvantages as well. The most obvious one is their metallic color, which makes them stand out from the rest of your teeth. Stainless steel crowns are not very aesthetic and may not be suitable for front teeth or people who care about their smile appearance. Stainless steel crowns may also cause allergic reactions in some people who are sensitive to certain metals.

How to choose the best type of dental crown for you?

There is no definitive answer to which type of dental crown is best for you. It depends on many factors, such as the location and condition of your tooth, the cost and insurance coverage, and your personal preference and comfort. You should consult with your dentist and discuss your options and expectations. Your dentist will examine your tooth and recommend the most suitable type of dental crown for you.

Here are some general guidelines to help you choose the best type of dental crown for you:

  • If you want a strong and durable crown that can last for a long time, you may choose a metal or PFM crown.
  • If you want a natural-looking and aesthetic crown that can blend in with your other teeth, you may choose an all-ceramic or all-porcelain crown.
  • If you want a low-cost and quick crown that can be done in one visit, you may choose a composite resin crown.

Dental crowns are custom-made caps that cover the entire visible part of a tooth. They are used to restore the shape, size, strength, and appearance of damaged or decayed teeth. Dental crowns can also protect teeth after root canal treatment, support dental bridges, or cover dental implants.

To choose the best type of dental crown for you, you should consider the location and condition of your tooth, the cost and insurance coverage, and your personal preference and comfort. You should also consult with your dentist and discuss your options and expectations.

By choosing the right type of dental crown for you, you can improve your oral health and smile with confidence.

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