What Are The Different Types of Dental Crowns?

There is a variety of possible materials that dental crowns can be made from. The different materials suit differing circumstances, so each of the types of dental crowns have their own pros and cons. Let’s have a look at these:


“What are the different types of dental crowns made from?”

Here are the common types of crowns, based on the materials used:

1. Porcelain fused to metal. Such crowns, also known as porcelain-bonded crowns, are very common.  They combine the strength of a metal base with a cosmetic covering of tooth-coloured porcelain.  They have a proven track record of success. However, over time, the metal may show through at the gum-line (as a visible dark line). These crowns may therefore not be the ideal choice where aesthetics are of prime importance. They also often need more filing down of the tooth, certainly when compared to metal-only crowns.

"Image of a zirconia crown on a cast"

A metal-free, machine-made Zirconia type of crown

2. Porcelain or ceramic only. These crowns will give the best cosmetic result, by best reproducing the natural look of a tooth.  There are many types of crown that fit into this category. They are still not quite as strong as metal crowns. However new and improving materials are being developed all the time. These latest developments include computer-assisted technology that makes dental crowns in a complex machine. Examples of such products include zirconia crowns. ‘Dental-bonded’ crowns are thin coverings that are essentially like veneers, but they cover the whole tooth (a veneer itself only covers one side of a tooth). They can give very life-like results and need less tooth reduction when they are suitable.

3. Metal only.  Usually made from gold, these crowns are the most durable and also require the least amount of filing down of the tooth.

"Image showing a metal type of crown"

This gold crown has lasted over 30 years, longer than most of it’s neighbouring teeth!

They are ideal when a tooth is not visible from outside the mouth.  Their strength makes them ideal for patients with very strong bites or with patients who clench or grind their teeth. As metal is not as brittle as the ceramics, it is much less likely to fracture in such circumstances. Metal crowns have a proven track record, but the appearance can put some patients off this option.


Your dentist will discuss with you which of the different types of dental crowns is best for you.  This decision will be based on cosmetic considerations, the condition and position of your tooth, the space available under your bite and the cost of the crown.   Return here to main page on dental crowns.

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