The Different Types of Dental Crowns Explained

The Different Types of Dental Crowns Explained

A dental crown isn’t one-size-fits-all. You have many different types to choose from, so learn about the differences between each here.

With more than 2.3 million implant-supported crowns made each year, a dental crown is the most common restorative procedure in dentistry. Dental crowns are a proven method to preserve natural teeth without resorting to extraction and come in various materials.

When a tooth is severely decayed or broken, a dental crown or cap fits over the remaining natural tooth to strengthen it. For example, dental crowns are often placed over a root canal-treated tooth. With the help of the different types of dental crowns, your crown will be made to look like your natural teeth and will last many, many years.

The six different types of dental crowns

With many different types available, a dental crown isn’t a one-size-fits-all fix. The main difference is the material used in making the crown:

Metal. Made of gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium, metal crowns are the most durable. But because of their metallic color, they are best suited for capping molars in the back of the mouth.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). These crowns are as strong as metal crowns and can match the natural color of your teeth. However, the porcelain layer may chip over time and make the metal inner core visible. PFM crowns can also wear down the enamel on nearby teeth.

Pressed ceramic. Pressed ceramic is a natural-looking crown suitable for front and back teeth. These crowns replace the metal core of a PFM crown with ceramic. However, the ceramic material is vulnerable to chipping.

All ceramic or porcelain. A ceramic or porcelain crown is your best bet if you’re looking for a crown most like your natural tooth. The ceramic crown is typically made of zirconium dioxide. It’s highly durable, and it won’t harm your nearby teeth.

Same-day crowns. With the help of CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and manufacturing), you can get your crown in one office visit. After an impression of the tooth is taken, the digital image is sent to a milling machine in the office. The crown is then shaped from a block of ceramic. While convenient, same-day crowns are not for everyone.

All resin. All-resin crowns are the least expensive type, but they are also the most delicate. They’re used primarily as temporary crowns but can last up to five years.

You have a crown. Now what?

Your crown can last an average of 15 years, provided you take good care of it. Follow these tips to extend the lifespan of your crown:

Brush and floss daily. A crown can attract bacteria like any other tooth, and that’s not good for oral health. Keep it clean by brushing with fluoride toothpaste and flossing between teeth. Rinsing with antibacterial mouthwash is also a good idea.

Avoid sticky, hard foods. A dental crown is strong, but it’s not indestructible. Hard, sticky foods can damage or possibly dislodge the cap.

Wear a mouthguard. If you grind your teeth at night, ask your dentist for a mouthguard to protect the crown.

Schedule biannual dental appointments. Don’t forget those regular dental checkups. The thorough cleaning and exam will ensure your teeth stay strong and healthy.

Need a crown? See an Espire dentist

​​Schedule an appointment at Espire’s La Mesa location today! Our highly trained dentists can fit you with the perfect crown to keep your teeth strong and healthy. Don’t live near our La Mesa, California, office? Find one of our other locations near you.

La Mesa, CA
8555 Fletcher Pkwy. 
Suite 102
La Mesa, CA 91942