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Types of Dental Crowns

Updated: May 9

Dental crowns play a pivotal role in restorative dentistry, addressing issues like tooth decay, fractures, or structural damage. Selecting the appropriate type of crown involves a careful consideration of factors such as composition, esthetics, and durability. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into four main types of dental crowns, providing an in-depth exploration of their advantages and disadvantages to empower you with the knowledge needed for an informed decision.

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia Crowns in Montebello CA

Zirconia crowns, crafted from zirconium oxide, represent a modern and highly durable ceramic option. Zirconia's strength and resilience make it a popular choice for patients seeking both longevity and esthetics.


Zirconia crowns excel in strength and durability, making them resistant to chipping or cracking. Their esthetic appeal lies in their natural and translucent appearance, closely resembling the characteristics of natural teeth. Additionally, zirconia is biocompatible, minimizing the risk of allergic reactions.


While zirconia crowns offer numerous advantages, they may come with a higher cost compared to some alternatives. Some types of zirconia crowns would present with an opaque shade compared to natural teeth. However, with the creation of multilayer zirconia crowns, the shade of the crown can generally be matched ideally with the adjacent teeth. Zirconia crowns have gained popularity for their exceptional strength and resistance to wear, making them a durable choice for various dental applications. Their natural and translucent appearance enhances their esthetic appeal, addressing the concerns of individuals seeking both strength and an authentic look.

Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain Crowns in Montebello CA

Porcelain crowns, crafted entirely from ceramic material, provide an esthetically pleasing and natural appearance. The absence of metal components makes them an excellent choice for those seeking a crown that mimics the translucency of natural teeth.


The primary advantage of porcelain crowns lies in their esthetic appeal, as they closely resemble the look of natural teeth. Biocompatibility is another key benefit, reducing the risk of allergic reactions. Furthermore, porcelain crowns exhibit resistance to staining, maintaining their bright and natural appearance over an extended period.


While highly esthetic, porcelain crowns may be more prone to brittleness, making them susceptible to chipping or cracking. Additionally, their cost can be higher than alternatives, potentially impacting the decision-making process for some patients.

Porcelain crowns are a popular choice for individuals prioritizing a natural look, especially for front teeth where esthetics play a significant role. Their ceramic composition allows for a translucency that mirrors natural teeth, providing a seamless and lifelike appearance.

However, the trade-off for this esthetic advantage is a potential susceptibility to brittleness. Patients should be aware of the increased risk of chipping or cracking compared to more durable materials. Additionally, the higher cost may be a consideration, particularly for those with budget constraints.

Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) Crowns

Porcelain Fused to Metal Crowns in Montebello CA

PFM crowns combine a metal substructure, often made of alloys like nickel-chromium, with an outer layer of porcelain. This hybrid composition seeks to merge the strength of metal with the esthetic advantages of porcelain.


PFM crowns strike a balance between strength and esthetics, making them a versatile choice suitable for both front and back teeth. The metal substructure enhances durability, providing a solution that withstands the forces of chewing and biting. Additionally, PFM crowns offer a more natural appearance than gold crowns, making them an appealing option for visible teeth.


Despite their strengths, PFM crowns may present challenges, with the potential for the porcelain outer layer to chip over time, revealing the underlying metal. While more esthetically pleasing than gold, some patients may find that PFM crowns lack the translucency of all-porcelain alternatives.

PFM crowns combine the best of both worlds, blending the strength of metal with the esthetic appeal of porcelain. This makes them a versatile choice suitable for various tooth locations, accommodating the need for both durability and an appealing appearance.

However, the potential for the porcelain outer layer to chip over time is a consideration. While this risk is lower than with all-porcelain crowns, patients should be aware of the possibility and discuss it with their dentist. Additionally, some individuals may prefer the enhanced translucency offered by all-porcelain crowns, making this a subjective decision based on individual preferences.

Gold Crowns

Gold Crowns in Montebello CA

Gold crowns, a traditional choice, are composed of a gold alloy typically containing elements like copper and nickel. This combination ensures a sturdy and resilient material, contributing to the crown's overall strength and durability. The gold alloy is malleable during the crafting process, allowing for precise customization to fit the tooth seamlessly.


Gold crowns boast exceptional durability, standing the test of time and resisting wear and tear. Their biocompatibility reduces the risk of allergic reactions, making them a suitable choice for a broad range of patients. Additionally, gold crowns often require minimal tooth removal, preserving more natural tooth structure compared to some alternatives.


Despite their strength and longevity, gold crowns may not be the ideal choice for visible front teeth due to their conspicuous gold color. Esthetic concerns, coupled with a potentially higher cost, may lead patients to explore other options better suited for a more natural appearance.

Gold crowns have been a staple in dentistry for their reliability and longevity. The gold alloy's malleability during the crafting process allows for precision fitting, ensuring a snug and secure crown. Their exceptional durability makes them an excellent choice for molars, where the forces of chewing are greatest.

However, the noticeable gold color may deter individuals seeking a more discreet option, particularly for visible front teeth. While gold crowns offer biocompatibility, their esthetic considerations and potential cost may prompt patients to explore alternative materials for a more inconspicuous and cost-effective solution.

Recommendations for Best Dental Crowns for Front Teeth

Choosing the right crown for front teeth and in cosmetic dentistry is crucial for achieving an esthetically pleasing result. While gold crowns offer remarkable durability, their conspicuous color may not be ideal for visible front teeth. Porcelain crowns emerge as a preferred choice due to their natural appearance and translucency, closely mimicking the characteristics of natural teeth. Patients seeking a balance between strength and esthetics may also consider Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) crowns, which offer durability with a more natural look. Ultimately, the decision should align with the patient's preference for appearance and budget considerations.

Recommendations for Best Dental Crowns for Posterior Teeth

When it comes to posterior teeth, durability and strength are paramount due to the significant forces involved in chewing. Zirconia crowns stand out for their remarkable strength, making them an excellent choice for molars and premolars. Zirconia crowns, with their exceptional durability, emerge as a modern alternative for posterior teeth. Their strength and resistance to chipping make them suitable for molars and premolars where the forces of chewing are most intense. Although zirconia crowns may come with a higher initial cost, their longevity and minimal maintenance requirements make them a cost-effective choice in the long run.

Gold crowns continue to be a reliable option, providing exceptional strength and wear resistance. Alternatively, Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) crowns strike a balance between strength and esthetics, making them suitable for both front and back teeth. Gold crowns have proven their mettle in the posterior region, enduring the substantial forces of chewing without compromising on longevity. Their biocompatibility and minimal tooth removal make them a practical choice. However, for patients who prioritize a more natural appearance, PFM crowns offer a compelling compromise between the strength of metal and the esthetics of porcelain.

In conclusion, the selection of dental crowns for front or posterior teeth involves a thoughtful consideration of various factors, including esthetics, durability, and cost. Consulting with a dentist is paramount in making an informed decision tailored to individual needs and preferences. Patients should actively engage in discussions with their dental professionals to ensure the chosen crown type aligns with their unique circumstances, ensuring optimal oral health and satisfaction with the esthetic outcome.




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