A Comprehensive Breakdown of the Different Types of Dental Crowns: Find Which Type Fits Your Winning Smile

Dr. Ash Sagar
Narre Warren Dental Care

Do you have a decayed tooth and are looking to get tooth-shaped caps? Understanding what crown types are available and how they can help your dental health is important. Many materials are used for dental crowns, each with advantages and disadvantages.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the variety of options this dental treatment can offer, including base-metal alloy crowns like gold alloy, all-ceramic and all-porcelain crowns, titanium crowns or all-resin varieties.

We will also discuss the factors influencing your dental crown of choice. Finally, we’ll look at the steps involved in getting a dental crown fitted by an experienced dentist.

  • A weak tooth must be prepared before installing a dental crown. However, its preparation will depend on the type of crown to be installed.

  • Gold crowns require minimal tooth preparation and are biocompatible. However, they are expensive.

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are long-lasting. However, colour-matching may be challenging because of its metal structure.

  • Porcelain crowns can mimic the colour of the neighbouring teeth, but they are not as durable as metal dental crowns.

  • Emax crowns are popular for their strength but can be very expensive.

What are the Types of Dental Crowns

When looking for a dental crown, it has to protect your teeth and fit your lifestyle and aesthetic. Below are the different types of crowns you may choose from:

Gold Crowns

Gold crowns have been used for decades and are known for their durability and longevity. They are typically used for back teeth and can withstand bite pressure. While a gold crown does require some tooth structure to be removed, it provides a secure and natural-looking restoration that can last for a long time.

Advantages of Gold Crowns

  • Minimal tooth preparation:
    Gold crowns preserve so much of the natural tooth structure. Your dentist can remove less of the tooth to accommodate the crown. As a result, more of your teeth’s natural structure will be preserved.

  • Biocompatible:
    Gold alloy restorations are more well-tolerated by the body. With a gold crown, you won’t have to worry about your gums or nerves bleeding. Some people have issues like this with other metal crowns because their bodies do not get along with them.

  • Durable:
    Gold’s thermal expansion and contraction are remarkably close to those of human teeth. As a result, your gold crown won’t chip or crack.

  • Won’t affect opposite teeth:
    Gold protects both your crown and the teeth on either side from damage during bruxism.

Disadvantages of Gold Crowns:

  • Gold crowns are expensive:
    Gold tooth crowns are pricey because gold is precious.

  • Low quality of design:
    Gold restorations don’t blend in with your mouth like real teeth do, so they aren’t well-liked by most people.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) crowns

Porcelain dental crowns are popular because they can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. They consist of a metal base covered with porcelain, which gives them a natural appearance.

Advantages of PFM Crowns:

Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns combine the durability of metal with the natural beauty of porcelain. These types of crowns are increasingly becoming popular and can look very natural. With a PFM crown, your restored tooth will have the same or even greater biting power as before, and it will be more resistant to chips and cracks than it would be with an all-porcelain crown because of the metal base. Made of porcelain fused with metal (PFM), crowns protect the back teeth without changing the smile’s appearance.

Disadvantages of PFM Crowns:

  • The opaque metal base underneath the porcelain layer of PFM crowns makes it difficult to achieve the same level of transparency as a natural tooth. So, even though the PFM crown’s colour might be spot-on with your natural teeth, the tooth might still look duller and less translucent than its neighbours.

  • A thin black line can also appear near the gum line of PFM crowns that have been worn or were improperly fabricated. Many people have their crowns replaced because of this line.

All-Ceramic Crowns

All-ceramic crowns are made entirely of porcelain or another ceramic material. Ceramic dental crowns are a great choice for people concerned about their teeth’ appearance, as they offer a natural-looking finish. They are commonly used to cover a damaged tooth located at the visible portion of the mouth.

Advantages of All-Ceramic Crowns:

  • Covering a discoloured tooth is one of the motivations for getting ceramic dental crowns.

  • The colour and shape of ceramic dental crowns can be adjusted to blend in with your natural teeth.

Disadvantages of All-Ceramic Crowns:

  • The all-ceramic crown will typically cost more than other crown materials.

  • They are not as durable as metal crowns.

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns are made of a ceramic type known for their strength and durability. They are often used for back teeth and are preferred by people who grind them.

Advantages of Zirconia Crowns:

  • Zirconia crowns are long-lasting and resistant to wear.

  • Zirconia crowns are as durable as other metal crowns, with the added benefits of being more aesthetically pleasing and closer to tooth colour than other metals.

  • Zirconia crowns are less likely to be rejected by the body than metal crowns because of their high biocompatibility.

  • They are used as same-day dental crowns, so you won’t need multiple dental visits.

Disadvantages of Zirconia Crowns:

Zirconia crowns have a more natural appearance than metal ones but are not as simple to match as ceramic ones. Because of this, they are frequently ceramic coated. This makes the exterior less robust and more susceptible to chipping.

Emax Crowns

Emax crowns are made of a type of ceramic that is known for its strength and clarity. They are often used for front teeth, offering a natural-looking finish.

Advantages of Emax Crowns:

The E-Max crown is the most advanced option currently available. Crowns from this material are preferred over zirconium ones due to the former’s superior strength and longevity. In comparison to zirconium crowns, it is more durable against chips.

The crowns used in E-MAX restorations are crafted from lithium disilicate ceramic, a translucent material prized for durability. This results in a strong and long-lasting crown that blends in flawlessly with the rest of your teeth.

Disadvantage of Emax Crowns

The price of E-MAX crowns is the only major drawback. The investment in E-MAX crowns is justified because they are the industry standard.

Temporary Crowns

Temporary crowns are used while waiting for your permanent crown to be made. They are typically made of acrylic and are not meant to be a long-term solution.

Advantages of Temporary Crowns:

  • They are used as a temporary restoration for the prepared tooth to prevent the risk of infection.

  • They can help with chewing and eating while the permanent crown is prepared.

Disadvantage of Temporary Crowns:

Be careful when brushing, flossing, and eating, as temporary crowns are fragile and can be easily knocked off.

Stainless Steel Crowns

Stainless steel crowns are used primarily for teeth in children. They are a cost-effective option that can be easily placed and removed.

Advantages of Stainless Steel Crowns:

  • They fit snugly, cover the entire tooth, are made of non-toxic metal, last a long time without breaking or falling out, and are simple to clean.

  • Crowns made of stainless steel can be removed along with baby teeth when it’s time to make room for permanent ones.

Disadvantage of Stainless Steel Crowns:

When compared to other metals, stainless steel’s durability falls short.

Implant-Supported Crowns

Implant-supported crowns are used when a dental implant is placed in the jawbone. They offer a stable, long-lasting solution for people who have lost a tooth.

Advantages of Implant-Supported Crowns:

  • Aesthetic appearance

  • Crowns secured to dental implants mimic teeth’ form, function and natural appearance.

  • Improves bite function

Disadvantage of Implant-Supported Crowns:

  • They are expensive
  • Long healing time

Resin Crowns

Resin crowns are made of a type of plastic and are typically used for front teeth. They are a cost-effective option but are not as durable as other types of crowns.

Advantages of Resin Crowns:

  • They are less expensive, so a dental insurance company is more likely to cover them.
  • They are easier and faster to install

Disadvantage of Resin Crowns:

They wear out more quickly.

Ceramic-Fused-to-Metal Crowns (CFM)

CFM crowns are similar to PFM crowns but use a stronger ceramic material. They are often used for back teeth.

Advantages of CFM Crowns:

  • CFM crowns are sturdy
  • The outer ceramic layer can match the shade of your real teeth.

Disadvantage of CFM Crowns:

  • Over time, CFM crowns’ metal components can wear down opposing teeth, causing further dental issues.

  • In the case of gum recession, the metal crown component may become exposed.

  • They may cause metal allergies since they are a type of metal dental crown.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are one of the most widely used methods to restore the natural tooth structure. They provide strength and protection while maintaining the natural tooth colour. Below are the different benefits of custom-made crowns:

  • A dental crown can prevent further decay and sensitivity by covering the entire tooth.

  • A dental crown procedure is not more complicated than other dental treatments.

  • They are a non-invasive option for patients who need restorative dentistry but may be concerned about such procedures’ perceived difficulty or intensity.

  • Dental crowns improve the aesthetic appeal of a broken tooth.

  • They can be long-lasting when taken care of properly.

Who are Good Candidates for Dental Crowns?

Although many dental procedures are safe and effective for most patients, this does not mean that you are always a good candidate. The following dental problems are common among patients who are good candidates for dental crowns:

  • Fractured tooth
  • Extreme tooth decay
  • A gap in one’s teeth
  • Patients who have had root canal treatment

What Happens During A Dental Crown Procedure?

A dental crown procedure is a popular option to cover and protect misshapen teeth. Performed by an experienced dentist, the process typically requires one to two visits to the office. Below is an overview of what happens during a dental crown procedure:

First Appointment

  • Exam:
    X-rays of the teeth and jawbone are routinely taken during a patient’s first dental appointment to look for decay and other issues that could lead to an infection or injury to the tooth’s pulp. Root canal therapy is sometimes necessary before a crown can be placed on a tooth; this is the case for some patients.

  • Reshaping of teeth:
    • The tooth needs to be reshaped so the crown can fit over it, though how much is needed will depend on the crown material. Metal-based crowns are typically less bulky than porcelain crowns, so less of the natural tooth needs to be filed down to make room for the restoration. The crown requires the top and sides of the tooth to be filed down. Any cavities should be removed at this point as well.

    • There may not be enough healthy tooth structure to anchor the tooth in place in patients with advanced decay or damage to the tooth. Filling material may strengthen the tooth before the crown is cemented.

  • Dental impression
    • After the tooth has been suitably reshaped, an impression will be taken so the crown can be custom-made to fit the tooth snugly. In many cases, an impression of the opposing tooth is also required so that the two can fit together when the patient bites. The other side of the mouth must be measured to ensure a proper fit for the crown.

    • Paste or putty that can retain the tooth’s shape is typically used to make impressions. It is laid over the target area and lifted off, retaining the form of the relevant teeth.

    • It is crucial to take notes now on the tooth’s natural fit and colour and any other characteristics that will influence the crown’s creation. If possible, the crown should blend in with the natural and adjacent teeth once placed.

  • Temporary crown
    Last but not least, a temporary crown is typically placed over the tooth to safeguard it until the permanent crown can be bonded into place. This will be eliminated during the subsequent dental appointment to make way for the permanent crown.

Second Appointment

  • Having had the permanent crown fabricated by a dentist. The next step is to have it cemented onto the tooth.

  • A temporary crown, if any, should be taken off first. Before cementing a crown onto a tooth, it’s important to double-check that the crown’s fit and colour match with the neighbouring teeth.

  • When placing a crown, it is common practice to administer a local anaesthetic to numb the area. The crown is secured to the tooth using dental cement. If the patient has bite issues when the crown meets the opposing tooth, slightly modifying the crown’s shape may be necessary.

Same-day Dental Crowns

A scanning device takes pictures of the teeth rather than an impression being made. This is then used to generate a 3D tooth model in specialised software. After a digital impression is made, a ceramic cap can be fabricated the same day. Using CAD/CAM, a dental crown can be designed and made in minutes, allowing for a speedy restoration.

What are the Risks and Considerations In Getting Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a popular procedure used to restore the look and strength of your teeth. Each material option for dental crowns also carries its risks and considerations.

  • Sensitivity:
    It’s normal for a crowned tooth to feel sensitive as the anaesthetic wears off in the hours after the procedure. The sensitivity to hot and cold may persist if the crowned tooth still contains a nerve. Your dentist may advise you to use toothpaste specifically formulated for sensitive teeth.

  • Cracked crown:
    Porcelain or porcelain fused to metal crowns are more prone to breaking than other crowns. If the chip is relatively small, it may be possible to have the crown reattached with composite resin. Such measures are usually only effective in the short term. Extreme damage to the crown may necessitate its replacement.

  • Loose crown:
    It’s not uncommon for the cement to wash out from under the crown. If the crown is loose, bacteria can enter and decay the remaining tooth.

  • Allergies:
    Patients with metal allergic reactions may experience swelling and bleeding. In cases like these, you must immediately contact your dentist.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know about all the different types of dental crowns, it’s vital to find the one that best fits your specific needs. Be sure to research and discuss with your dentist all the different options to choose the one that will give you the best results for your oral health.

Each type of dental crown has its unique benefits and drawbacks, but overall they are a great way to improve the appearance and function of your teeth. Don’t forget, if you need an affordable and reliable dental crown, Narre Warren Dental Centre has your back! Call and book your appointment today and let us assist you with your needs.

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

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