Crowning Achievement: Know The 4 Different Types Of Dental Crowns

types of dental crowns

Dental crowns and caps are used to cover or strengthen damaged teeth, which improves their overall appearance and alignment in the mouth. In the United States, up to 15 million people have crown and bridge replacements for missing teeth. If you think you may need to become one of those 15 million at your next dental checkup, prepare yourself by reading up on the different types of dental crowns.


Ceramic dental crowns are used to restore front teeth because they blend with the natural color of your tooth. They are made of a porcelain-based material that may be less strong than other dental crown options. If you are a nighttime teeth-grinder, ceramic may not be the best option because they are susceptible to cracking under pressure. While it is resistant to wear, a ceramic crown can aggravate neighboring teeth if their surfaces become rough. The sealing ability of a ceramic crown is dependent on the filling materials and the quality of the tooth it is covering.

Porcelain-fused to metal

As opposed to the ceramic crowns that are all porcelain, these types of dental crowns offer more protection because they are attached to a metal structure. This also gives the crown a stronger bond to the tooth and makes it very durable. No matter the state of the underlying tooth or the filling materials used, this dental crown has a great seal to prevent leakage. As with the ceramic option, porcelain-fused to metal crowns resist wear well but can cause an issue with rough opposing teeth.

Base metal alloys

With any dental crown type, your dentist will have to reduce the size of your tooth so that the crown can fit over it and sit comfortably in your mouth. A crown made of base metal alloys requires the least amount of your tooth to be removed before fitting it. The non-noble metals that compose the crown are highly resistant to corrosion, making a strong crown. This option provides a good seal against leakage as well. It differs from either porcelain choice because it is both wear-resistant and gentle on opposing teeth.

Gold alloys

A dental crown made of gold alloys is a mix of gold, copper, and other metals. These types of dental crowns create a very strong bond to the tooth. They also do not fracture and do not wear away the tooth itself. Similar to its base-metal cousins, gold alloys crowns are extremely durable while not aggravating opposing teeth. They also have a good seal against any potential leakage.

A trip to the dentist becomes much less intimidating when you are well aware of what you might go through and informed of any choices you have. Knowing the different dental crown types your dentist may fit you with is an excellent way to stay on top of your oral health.