Types of Dental Crowns

A dental crown procedure is a very common approach used by dentist to treat a variety of structural and cosmetic issues that may arise with your oral health. Your dentist may suggest a dental crown installation to strengthen a weak tooth, fix a misalignment issue, or repair a tooth that has been cracked or fractured. There are different types of dental crowns and which type you and your dentist decides on will likely be a result of the need you have for the crown. Below is more detailed information on different types of dental crowns.

What is the purpose of a dental crown?

First, what is a dental crown? A crown is a synthetic cover, or cap, that is secured to the top of a tooth. Usually the cap is custom made specifically to fit your tooth and is then cemented into place during a small procedure. The cap is permanent and can only be removed by a dentist once it has been installed. The intent of the crown is to cover a tooth that may have been damaged or is weak, however some dentist suggest crowns to suit other purposes, including fixing alignment or improving the appearance of a tooth that is misshaped or discolored.

To get a crown custom made your dentist will need to first prepare your tooth for the cap, and then measure the tooth to special order the crown from a dental lab. This measurement is taken by using an impression of your tooth and surrounding teeth. This impression is sent to the dental lab and used as a mold to custom make your crown.


There are four common types of dental crowns:

  1. Ceramic: Usually made from a porcelain-based material, ceramic crowns are the type commonly selected to repair front teeth. Ceramic crowns often look identical to natural teeth.
  2. Porcelain-fused to metal: Created by fusing a porcelain exterior to a metal base, this type of crown is usually selected when a stronger crown is needed. This type of crown is very durable.
  3. Gold alloys: A gold alloy crown is created using a mix of metals, including gold or copper. The best part of alloy crowns is they cannot fracture or deteriorate over time, and therefore are incredibly durable.
  4. Base metal alloys: Made of non-noble metals, this type of crown is also very durable and resistant to breaking down.

Differences between types

If durability is what is needed, your dentist may select the gold or metal alloy crowns to increase the strength of your tooth. If the goal of the crown is to improve a cosmetic issue, the ceramic or porcelain fused to metal crown will likely be your dentist choice. The ceramic crown is susceptible to wear and deterioration, as well as staining, but it is the type that will blend in the best with your natural teeth. When trying to make a decision about the best crown type for you, it really comes down to your oral needs and what your dentist thinks is best. The best route is to have a conversation with your dentist where you assess your needs and goals for the crown.

More About Dental Crowns : What are Dental Crowns?