Dental crowns are used both for cosmetic and restorative purposes. The tooth-shaped caps are fitted over existing teeth to improve shape, size and color, as well as enhance strength, restore a broken tooth or hold a dental bridge in place.
Dental crowns are available in many different materials. Knowing the pros and cons of each can help you make an informed choice.
Types of Dental Crowns
- Temporary crowns: Made of acrylic or stainless steel (often in your dentist’s office) they act as a temporary restoration while your permanent dental crowns are being made in the lab.
- Porcelain or ceramic crowns: These are a popular choice since they look and feel like natural teeth. They are also suitable for individuals with allergies to metal. Highly recommended for front teeth on account of appearance, they are, however, not as strong as metal crowns.
- All-metal crowns: Fashioned from alloys of gold, base metal (like nickel and chromium), etc. these last the longest as they are more resistant to biting and chewing. The metallic color is a drawback which is why they are considered a good choice for back teeth, like the molars.
- All-resin crowns: These dental crowns are the least expensive, however, performance and durability are not very high. They are prone to fractures and wear down more easily too.
- Porcelain-fused metal (PFM) crowns: Unlike all metal crowns, porcelain-fused metal crowns can closely match the color of your teeth. The outer porcelain portion, however, can break and when this happens, the dark metal can be seen. They may be used for front or back teeth.
Watch this video to see the different types of dental crowns and determine which ones are right for you.
Discuss your dental crown options with your family dentist to decide what’s best based on your individualized needs and budget.