What is the best material for a dental crown?

Nov 3 • 3 minute read

Many dentists often recommend having a dental crown fitted when a person struggles with damaged or weakened teeth. You may also find that if you're having a dental bridge fitted to be put in place of a missing tooth, a dental crown may also be used to support the teeth surrounding it.

If you require a dental crown, you must choose the material that best fits your needs. Because they are made to fit a tooth and mimic its original function in shape, it is best to consider materials that look more natural and realistic.

While we will discuss the different materials used for dental crowns, it is in your best interest to speak with your dentist so that they may explain the various pros and cons of each. This way, you can ultimately decide on the best option for your needs and budget. In addition, they may also present you with alternatives that may better suit your situation.

Porcelain (Ceramic) Crowns

Because of their more natural aesthetic, all-ceramic and porcelain crowns are by far the most popular option today. This is because porcelain reflects light in the same way that tooth enamel reflects it. In addition, dentists can also select the shade of porcelain that best matches your natural teeth, and you can also choose your own shade.

Some clinics may also fit crowns in one appointment, which is much more convenient compared to traditional crowns that are required to be manufactured in a dental laboratory offsite.

However, porcelain crowns are more easily damaged because they are weaker than metal crowns. Because of this, porcelain or ceramic crowns are typically recommended for more visible teeth, like the front teeth, because they will not be used under tremendous pressure (such as for chewing).

Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) Crowns

PFM crowns are also a strong option because they combine realistic appearance and strength. These crowns have a metal center and a porcelain exterior that can be shade-matched to your teeth like the former mentioned.

Porcelain fused to metal crowns can also have an advantage for those that need crowns for any teeth in the mouth. However, these are not always the best option for front teeth crowns because the metal sometimes shows through the ceramic in certain lighting. In addition, the metal base may also start to show if the crown undergoes wear and tear or the person's gums start to recede.

Metal or Gold Crowns

The first dental crowns were made of metals and gold, and this technique continues today. However, because people prefer a more natural look, these crowns are becoming much less prevalent. However, metal and gold crowns have a clear advantage because they tend to last longer than any of the other materials and are, in fact, much stronger. Therefore, they are less likely to be worn down or damaged over time. 

Composite Crowns

The least common option for dental crowns is made from composite resin, similar to the material used for white fillings. While these crowns can be shade and color-matched to a person's teeth for a more natural look, they are the weakest material and are much more prone to stains and other damages.

Are there any alternatives?

Typically crowns are recommended when a tooth needs more support than a filling can provide. Depending on your needs, your dentist may want to discuss other options, such as fillings, dental veneers, or inlays/onlays to repair or modify a person's teeth.

In the end, it is best to listen to a professional, experienced dentist’s advice so that your crown may last for as long as possible.

To learn more about your dental crown options, schedule an appointment with Diamond Bar Dental today.

Located in Diamond Bar, CA, Diamond Bar Dental can help you learn about the dental crowns and the best materials to suit your needs. Let us help you choose the option that’s best for you. Call us at 909-860-3111 to schedule an appointment today.

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