Different Types of Dental Crowns: A Complete Guide (2021)


A dental crown may be just the answer to your teeth issues. Do you have a problem with your teeth? Is it affecting your ability to eat and speak? Do you find it difficult to smile, or do you feel self-conscious when you do?

Today, dental experts may correct these issues using a variety of dental crowns. To understand more about dental crowns, read this complete guide.

Get a free quote today from Dr Peter Laird.

An Overview of Dental Crowns

The teeth can be damaged or decayed for a variety of causes. A dental crown may be required if one or more of your teeth lose their form.

As the name implies, a dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that completely crowns or covers a broken tooth. The crowns are generally made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, metal, ceramic, stainless steel, and resin, among other materials. These materials are selected based on the intended endurance, quality, and appearance.

If tooth rot and cavities have spread far and wide over your pearly whites, and fillings are no longer enough to cure the problem, a dental cap surgery might be considered.

When combined with dental implants, dental crowns can also be used to replace whole teeth. When there is no tooth for the dental crown to sit on, the dental implant functions as the root to anchor the crown to your jawbone.

Different Types of Dental Crowns

There are different types of dental crowns to choose from, depending on the type of covering you want. 

Temporary Dental Crowns: 

Temporary tooth caps are used for a short time, usually between a few days to a few weeks. They are mostly made of a tooth-coloured soft resin substance (acrylic). These caps are soft, porous, and easy to carve at the table.

Nowadays, PMMA (Poly Methyl Meta Acrylate) Dental Crowns are prescribed as provisional prostheses. They are made using the CAD/CAM process. When opposed to acrylic crowns, these offer higher aesthetics and strength.

  • As the name implies, temporary caps are worn for a limited time while the permanent prosthesis is being manufactured.

Temporary dental crowns have the following applications:

  • As a transitory dental cap applied shortly after tooth preparation to preserve, function, and enhance the appearance of the teeth
  • An immediate chairside tooth crown is applied immediately after dental implant implantation and is replaced with a permanent one once the dental implants are fused to the jaw bone.

Note: These provisional/temporary crowns are intended to be used until the permanent cap is completed and come without a warranty. Because it is constructed of Acrylic (Plastic), it may break or discolour.

Permanent Dental Crowns:

These are the definitive prostheses that are used to restore the tooth structure’s function and appearance. Today, as a result of technological breakthroughs and engineering, we have a choice of permanent dental caps. One can choose the appropriate dental cap based on their requirements, material, technology, and Dental Crown cost.

The following are the various types of crowns depending on the materials that are frequently used in dentistry:

Dental Crowns Made of Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM):

These are the dental crowns that are most frequently utilized. They are constructed using metal as the base for strength and are then coated with tooth-coloured porcelain for looks.

The metal base is created using either the lost wax technique or the CAD/CAM technique.

The Benefits of PFM Teeth Caps

  • Superior Aesthetics when compared with all-metal crowns
  • Extremely strong
  • Less expensive than Zirconia or all-ceramic crowns.

The Disadvantages of PFM Teeth Caps

  • In comparison to Zirconia or all-ceramic crowns, they are less aesthetically pleasing.
  • Leaves a bluish-black stain along gum lines; not recommended for front teeth with a gummy smile.
  • In susceptible people, nickel in the metal alloy may trigger an allergic reaction.
  • Occasionally, porcelain is chipped away from the metal surface, exposing the metal and creating an unsightly look.
  • When the metal foundation is cast using the lost-wax process, it may result in casting flaws such as cap margin shrinkage, resulting in mismatch, and metal porosity, which can weaken the crown.

PFM Crowns Advancements

  • Nowadays, the primary metal structure of Cobalt-Chromium-Nickle is being phased out in favour of titanium, which is very biocompatible and lightweight.
  • We utilize nickel-free alloys.
  • The employment of CAM/CAM technology (DMLS Crowns) results in a more precise fit. Because they are machine-carved, no casting flaws such as short margins or metal porosities are visible.

Dental Crowns Made of Zirconia

These dental crowns are now the most popular and emerging dental prosthesis. They provide the strength of PFM crowns while maintaining the appearance of all ceramic/porcelain crowns.

Because the caps are cut directly from Zirconia blocks using CAD/CAM technology, the possibility of marginal mistakes is extremely low. They are very transparent, lightweight, and have an attractive appearance.

They have a high level of biocompatibility. It is tissue-friendly and has a low risk of causing allergic responses. Zirconia caps are more expensive than PFM or metal crowns.

All-Ceramic Dental Crowns / Emax

The Benefits Of All-Ceramic Tooth Caps

  • These are entirely composed of porcelain and have a good visual appeal.
  • They are biocompatible because they lack a metallic structure.
  • Emax crowns are all-porcelain crowns that include lithium disilicate and offer superior aesthetics.
  • Most preferred for the front tooth\’s single cap

Ceramic Crowns Disadvantages

  • Fracture resistance is decreased.
  • When utilized as a multiunit in a bridge, it can fail.

Crown Made of Metal

They are composed of metal alloys such as cobalt, chromium, and nickel and have great strength but an unattractive appearance. It can only be used on teeth in the rear that is not in the smile line.

It is not advisable for people allergic to nickel. Nowadays, nickel-free or titanium alloys for metal tooth caps are available, making them more biocompatible. They are the least expensive permanent dental crown option.

Crowns Made of Gold

Dental crowns made of gold are available with a range of metal caps. They have numerous advantages, including being robust and resistant and requiring minimum dental preparation.

The primary drawback of gold tooth caps is their expensive cost since gold prices are too high and require 4-6 grams of gold and production costs. They are also only recommended for rear teeth owing to their poor esthetics.

Teeth Caps For Children’s Milk Teeth

Stainless Steel Crowns

They are prefabricated crowns in the shape of metal shells available in various sizes to protect milk teeth. They are most frequently used on the rear milk teeth.

They are a robust, resilient, moisture-resistant, and affordable alternative to milk teeth.

Crown Strips/Composite Strips:

These polycarbonate crowns resemble prefabricated transparent shells that are placed over milk teeth and filled with tooth-coloured composite.

They are mostly utilized for front teeth and provide an attractive appearance.

The Techniques Involved In The Production Of Tooth Caps

Essentially, there are two approaches.

1. A Manual or Lost-Wax Method: is used here to prepare and melt a wax coping. The molten metal is poured into the formed area and allowed to cool and harden. They inherit some of the casting flaws, such as porosity, metal structural shrinkage, and imperfections, resulting in a marginal gap between tooth and cap, which can later result in tooth decay and gum issues.

2. CAD-CAM Technology for Dental Crowns: This is the most sophisticated and preferred method of making tooth caps. Here, utilizing automated scanning and milling, the metal or zirconia is cut straight from ingots. Because no casting is required, the possibility of casting mistakes is also eliminated. They are well-adapted to dental edges and significantly reduce the risk of tooth decay and gum infection.

Dental Crown Complications or Issues

 1. Tooth Sensitivity or Tooth Pain

Sensitivity can arise in teeth that have not been treated with a Root Canal, and a Dental Cap is recommended to support a bridge or big restoration. Typically, the sensitivity lessens within a few days of the cap being fixed. However, if you experience severe discomfort when biting or persistent sensitivity, you should visit your dentist immediately.

 2. Inability to properly bite or a change in the bite

You may notice that your bite is increased instantly after installing a new cap. This may be readily changed by visually inspecting and removing the cap\’s high points. After cap fixation, a sense of newness may occur, which should pass within a few days. If you continue to notice a change in your bite, see your dentist for an examination and correction.

 3. Tooth Fracture/Tooth Decay

Occasionally, deterioration of the tooth structure beneath the cap occurs as a result of marginal gaps or gum recession, weakening the tooth and eventually resulting in its fracture. Dental caps that are manufactured using computerized sintering technology (CAD/CAM) have a better marginal fit than those manufactured manually. Additionally, it is essential to maintain good oral and gum health on a regular basis to avoid gum disease. If you have frequent food lodgement around your fake teeth, arrange a visit with your dentist.

4. Blackened Gum Line and Allergic Reactions

Pigmentation of the gums next to dental caps and Allergies are frequently observed with Chromium-Cobalt-Nickel metal or metal-ceramic caps. The optimal approach is to use all-ceramic or zirconia caps, which are more tissue-friendly than base metal alloys.

5. Chipped Crown

The ceramic component of the tooth cap may chip off as a result of biting down on anything hard or as a result of natural wear over time, which may look and feel uncomfortable. It is prudent to get high-quality dental crowns that come with a guarantee and may be changed without incurring lab fees.

 6. Dental Crown Dislodgement

Although these caps are secured with very strong dental cement. They may fall out after some time, particularly when eating sticky things like gums or eclairs, which may be easily re-cemented. If crown dislodgement occurs often, the crown height should be determined, as a low crown provides less retention support. Additional procedures like crown lengthening (increasing tooth height) or other alternatives, such as inlay or onlay, are advised to address this issue.

Dental Crowns Special Care

Generally, a crowned tooth does not require special care. However, it is essential to note that just because a tooth is capped does not mean it is always safe from decay or gum disease. Therefore, to maintain your healthy and beautiful smile, practice proper dental hygiene habits consistently, such as:

  • Keeping your teeth clean at least twice a day,
  • Daily flossing around the crown region of the tooth, where the tooth meets the gum
  • Rinse your mouth daily with an antimicrobial mouthwash.
  • Use an interdental brush or a water flosser as your dentist recommends.

Why Might You Need A Dental Crown?

A dental crown may be necessary for a variety of reasons. These reasons can be aesthetic or medicinal and may include the following:

1. Protection: A crown may be placed on a tooth to protect it from injury or deterioration. Additionally, it can act as a type of protection for cracked or fractured teeth by reattaching the cracked or shattered portions of the tooth. Furthermore, a crown may be utilized to secure a dental bridge. Crowns are also used to preserve infant teeth from injury or decay, particularly in children who have trouble maintaining proper oral hygiene.

2. Coverage: A crown may be used to conceal a big filling in a tooth or to conceal a dental implant. Additionally, if a tooth has been significantly discoloured, a crown can assist to conceal the discolouration while matching the tooth\’s colour to the surrounding teeth.

3. Restoration: A crown may be put on a damaged or worn-down tooth to help repair it. When a tooth fractures or decays, it creates a space between your teeth. A gap between your teeth may be quite inconvenient since it allows neighbouring teeth to migrate into the vacant area, ultimately disturbing your tooth’s proper placement. A crown can assist close the gap left by injury or decay and restore your mouth\’s natural structure.

Are Dental Crowns or Porcelain Crowns Hurtful Procedure?

Not with an expert dentist, who has put many porcelain and dental crowns successfully. You will be sedated throughout the preparation of your tooth/teeth and during the application of the crowns.

After the initial session and placement of the temporary crowns, you may experience some discomfort in the gums and surrounding the non-permanent crown. You may experience some discomfort during the permanent crown implantation (which is typically characterized as a slight pinch), but the operation will be conducted under local anesthesia, and topical numbing medications will also be used.

After the permanent crown is placed, you may have some discomfort and may need to adhere to soft foods for some time, but there should be no major or persistent pain.

What are the Benefits of Dental Crowns?

1. Simple Procedure

There’s no need to stay in the dentist\’s chair for hours on end, only to return for further appointments in the weeks ahead. It only takes an hour or two to make the crown.

After that, it’s time to cement it in place. The cementing procedure does not take long, even when done with caution and care. In most cases, the complete dental treatment takes no more than four hours. If the number of teeth to be capped is small and the damage isn’t severe, it may take less time. 

2. Tooth Restoration is Natural

The fact that dental crowns are a natural-looking dental repair is one of its most well-known benefits. They’re made to seem like natural teeth, with sculpted, buffed, and polished crowns.

If you choose resin or porcelain crowns, the colour of the crowns can be matched to match the colour of your natural teeth.

3. Dental Crowns are Custom-Made

Tooth caps have the advantage of being tailored for each patient based on past tooth damage or condition. Our dentist can modify the tooth crown to ensure that it does not give you any discomfort or affect your bite.

Unlike other tooth restoration methods, dental crowns need very little adjusting time. Your dentist may adjust them to fit your tooth, gums, and mouth.

Which Dental Crowns Last The Longest?

Let’s start with the most durable material. Metal crowns are very durable and will last the longest of any other material type available. Typically, the metals used will be gold, platinum, or an alloy metal usually containing nickel. 

Metal crowns rarely chip or break, last the longest in terms of wear down, and only require a small amount of your tooth to be removed. They can also withstand biting and chewing forces. 

The metallic colour is the main drawback of this type of crown. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.

What to Expect When Getting a Dental Crown

A dental crown may require two visits to the dentist. The first step is to determine whether the tooth is robust enough to support a crown. The tooth may need to be filed down to allow the crown to fit properly over it.

Your dentist may need to fill in a portion of your tooth if it is severely damaged or fractured. This, once again, prepares your tooth for the implantation of a crown.

The dentist will take an imprint of your teeth once the tooth has been shaped. This is frequently shipped to a lab where the permanent crown is created. Because this takes time, many dentists use a temporary crown during this appointment.

You will return to the dentist after the permanent crown is completed. The dentist first removes the temporary crown. After that, a special glue is used to adhere the new crown to your tooth.

The crown is now ready to operate and look like a natural tooth.

What Is The Procedure For Placing Dental Crowns?

Installing a dental crown is generally a two-step procedure that needs two visits to the dentist. The tooth is examined and prepared for the crown during the first appointment. During the second visit, the permanent crown is placed.

The dentist will thoroughly inspect your tooth and the gum tissue around it for signs of injury or decay. If there is any deterioration, a root canal may be necessary initially.

The dentist will initially administer anesthesia to the tooth, getting the crown and the surrounding region to prepare it for crown installation. The tooth\’s outer surface will be removed from the top and all sides with a dental drill. This essentially serves as a “shaving” process; the tooth creates room for the crown to sit on top of it. If the tooth is injured or there isn’t enough left, the dentist may use a filling to modify it somewhat before taking an imprint.

Your dentist will take an imprint of the tooth once the outer layer of the tooth has been removed. The dentist may use dental impression cement, putty, or a computerized scanner to create an imprint. This imprint will be utilized in the lab to make a permanent crown.

A dentist will put a temporary crown on the tooth, generally made of acrylic, to keep it from becoming exposed until your permanent crown arrives. Avoid hard or sticky foods and use the side of your mouth with the temporary crown as little as possible during the two to three weeks before receiving your permanent crown to avoid damaging it.

Your temporary crown will be removed at the second appointment, and the new crown will be correctly placed on your tooth.

The dentist will use a special cement to connect the crown to the tooth permanently.

Problems Associated With Dental Crowns

While dental crowns are designed to benefit patients rather than hurt them, a few things can go wrong.

Please keep in mind that everyone’s pain/discomfort is different. If you have any discomfort after obtaining a crown, regardless of how minor or severe it is, we urge that you contact your dentist right away.

The following are some of the most prevalent issues with dental crowns:

1. Discomfort and sensitivity 

These two words come to mind while thinking about this situation. You’ll probably feel strange once the anesthetic wears off. You might suffer sensitivity to hot and cold drinks and foods if you didn’t require a root canal (to remove the whole nerve in your tooth). However, if you suffer pain when biting down, your crown may be too high on your tooth.

2. Your crown may break 

Porcelain or porcelain bonded to metal crowns are susceptible to chipping. If the chip is tiny enough, composite resin can help; otherwise, you\’ll need a new crown.

3. The crown is loose/slips off 

The cement beneath the crown may wash away. This is troublesome for various reasons, including the fact that the crown will be loose and, in extreme situations, may come off, allowing germs to enter the crown. If your crown becomes loose or falls off, you should contact your dentist right once.

How Will You Know When A Crown Has To Be Changed

Clinical examination or dental X-ray is the only way to determine if a crown has to be changed.

If there is obvious deterioration, either clinically or radiographically, the crown should be replaced.

The crown should be replaced if there are any open margins where the crown isn’t set correctly on the tooth or if there is a gap between the crown and the tooth.

In addition, if the crown is damaged or if there is space between the crown and the neighbouring teeth where food and germs might accumulate, the crown should be changed.

Recovery Time for a Porcelain Crown

You should expect some discomfort and sensitivity after receiving a porcelain crown. Mild discomfort is to be expected, but you should be able to return to your regular activities shortly after your dental crown is installed.

If local anesthetic or numbing medications were used, your jaw and mouth area may feel numb for several hours following the operation.

For several days after your crown is put, you may have some inflammation and discomfort, particularly around the injection sites (which are normally on the jaw area immediately around the spot where your crown is located).

The discomfort and inflammation from your dental crown treatments should go away on their own after a few days. However, many patients find that using over-the-counter pain relievers as ibuprofen helps.

Topical anesthetic gels for your gums can also be obtained from your dentist or from most pharmacies.

Keep in mind that you should avoid drinking hot liquids or chewing hard foods right after getting a dental crown to protect the newly installed crown and because you may be unable to feel sensations like heat or pain due to the numbing agents and painkillers. It means you could injure yourself.

You may feel heightened heat and cold sensitivity if the dental crown still has a live nerve in it.

If you suffer discomfort or sensitivity when biting down on the freshly crowned tooth, it\’s possible that the crown was put too high on the tooth, and your dentist may need to modify it.

Of course, you should contact your dentist right away if you are having severe discomfort, fever symptoms (which might suggest a tooth infection or allergy), or other issues.

Porcelain Crowns Vs. Veneers

Porcelain crowns and veneers are used to improve the appearance of your teeth, particularly if you have damage or discolouration on your front teeth.

On the other hand, Veneers are typically used for more cosmetic reasons because they are composed of ultra-thin porcelain and are just bonded to the front of the tooth — they do not require the tooth to be strengthened.

Rather, veneers improve the look and form of the tooth, whereas porcelain crowns enclose the whole tooth and preserve damaged teeth while also improving the beauty of your smile.

Always discuss your choices for enhancing the health, strength, and look of your teeth with your dentist.

They will be able to advise you on the finest alternatives for improving, strengthening, and generally enhancing your teeth.

What Are the Costs of Porcelain Crowns?

The cost of porcelain crowns is determined by various factors, including the condition of your teeth and your geographic location.

In Australia, for example, it may be rather inexpensive, and health funds may partially pay the costs. However, you should always see your dentist!

Additional factors affecting the price of dental crowns include the crown’s material, the tooth’s location, its size, and any additional damage to the tooth or adjacent teeth that need repair.

Additionally, various dentists may charge differently based on their location, amount of expertise, and difficulty.

Consider whether you require a dental crown or crowns. Consult your dentist or office manager to determine the cost of the operation and whether or not your insurance will cover it.

What Is The Best Way To Care for Your Dental Crown?

It’s tempting to believe that a crowned tooth is impenetrable to harm. This is incorrect, and you must treat your crowned teeth with the same care as you would any other. Like the teeth they cover, crowns can break, and the tooth behind a crown is still vulnerable to cavities. It’s essential to practice proper dental hygiene in order to avoid any harm and keep your teeth healthy. Avoid eating hard foods such as ice, or hard items, such as pencils, which protect your crown from fracture. If you have any concerns about your new crown, such as extreme sensitivity or a loose, chipped, or fallen off a crown, see your dentist to have it replaced or fixed.

Our staff at Glenferrie Dental can help you with any dental issues you may have. There’s no excuse to suffer in agony when you can schedule an appointment at Glenferrie Dental now.

Are You Looking for a Dentist That Can Take Care of All of Your Dental Needs?

Glenferrie Dental is dedicated to addressing all of your dental health requirements. This includes everything from complete dental exams to restorative dentistry.

We’re dedicated to providing outstanding treatment to every patient. Throughout your visit, our staff will keep you informed about what they’re doing. It’s also crucial to us that you’re at ease and comfortable.

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