What Are the Different Types of Dental Crowns?

Are you in need of a dental crown? If a tooth is severely decayed or is damaged in some way, such as a crack or a chip, your dentist may recommend restoring it with a crown. A crown is sometimes referred to as a cap because it is essentially a cover for the existing tooth. It allows the natural tooth root to stay in place, which preserves the jaw bone and other support structures for the tooth. 

There are different types of dental crowns made of different materials. Here are the most common types and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Ceramic/Porcelain Crown

Ceramic crowns are typically made of porcelain, a specific type of ceramic. The advantages of porcelain are that it is strong and it closely resembles natural tooth enamel. Porcelain is also stain resistant. It is one of the most common types of crowns because of these benefits. The only disadvantage of porcelain is that it can eventually wear down over time from the force of chewing. If you need a crown on a front tooth that is highly visible, a porcelain crown is probably your best option.

Porcelain Fused to Metal Crown

Some crowns are made of metal with a porcelain cover. The porcelain fuses to the metal to form a secure hold. This type of crown is more affordable than an all-porcelain crown, but it does have some disadvantages in appearance. A thin strip of metal is sometimes visible which creates a dark border along the gum line. This type of crown may be better for a back tooth that is not as visible. In some cases the porcelain may come loose from the metal and require repair or a replacement crown.

Gold Crown

When you need a particularly strong crown, gold is one of the best materials. If you grind your teeth, a gold crown can hold up to that kind of pressure. Not everyone wants the gold tooth look however, so you may only want to get a gold crown placed over a back molar. That is where extra bite strength is needed as the molars bear the brunt of the chewing force.

Base Metal Alloy Crown

A base metal alloy crown is made up of less than 25% of noble metals (gold, silver, platinum, and palladium). It is mostly made up of chromium and nickel, giving it extremely strong bite strength. A base metal alloy crown is more affordable than gold, but may cause problems for anyone who has an allergy to some types of metal. As with gold, a base metal alloy crown doesn’t look natural, so it may be best for a back molar.

How is a Crown Placed?

The procedure for getting a crown will sometimes take a few appointments. The first step is to remove the damaged portion of the tooth and to reduce the overall size of the tooth. Next, impressions are made of the teeth to create the permanent crown that will be placed. A temporary crown can be worn until the permanent crown is created, which may take a few weeks. When the permanent crown is ready, it is fitted and adjusted if necessary. Finally it is cemented into place for a permanent hold. 

Crowns typically last anywhere from 10-15 years, but many last longer for some patients. If you avoid grinding your teeth or wear a mouthguard at night, you may be able to get more years out of your crown. Your dentist can create a custom fitted mouthguard for you to wear at night to protect your teeth and jaw from the effects of teeth grinding.

Quality Dental Crowns from Smile Makers Comprehensive Dentistry

If you’re in need of a dental crown, Smile Makers Comprehensive Dentistry provides this service. We offer crowns made of different materials so that you can choose the best option for you. We will give you our recommendation based on the location of the tooth that needs the crown, as well as information about your habits and lifestyle. 

Call 334-277-5498 today to schedule a consultation or request an appointment. We look forward to restoring your natural tooth with a high quality crown.