Understanding the Materials Used in Making Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a common dental procedure used to restore damaged or decayed teeth. They act as a protective cap that covers the tooth, improving its appearance, strength, and function. One important aspect of dental crowns that patients should know is the materials used in their fabrication. In this article, we will explore the various materials used in making dental crowns, their benefits, and considerations to keep in mind.


Versatility and Aesthetics

Porcelain crowns are known for their natural and lifelike appearance. The material can be matched to the color and translucency of neighboring teeth, ensuring a seamless blend. This makes porcelain crowns an excellent choice for patients who prioritize aesthetics.

Weakness and Durability

Despite their great look, porcelain crowns have slightly lower strength compared to other materials. They are more prone to chipping or cracking if exposed to excessive force or if the patient has a habit of grinding their teeth. In such cases, a stronger material may be recommended.


Durable and Long-Lasting

Metal crowns, such as those made from gold or silver alloy, are exceptionally strong and durable. They can withstand biting and chewing forces well, making them suitable for back teeth that bear more pressure. Metal crowns also have a long lifespan and are less likely to chip or break compared to other materials.

Aesthetic Concerns

The main drawback of metal crowns is their appearance. Their metallic color can be visible, especially if used on front or highly visible teeth. As a result, patients who prioritize aesthetics may opt for other materials, such as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM)

Natural-Looking with Added Strength

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns offer the perfect blend of strength from metal and the exquisite aesthetics of porcelain, creating a harmonious combination. The crown has a metal base for strength and a porcelain layer for a natural appearance. The metal base provides stability and durability, while the porcelain layer ensures a more attractive appearance.

Potential for Wear and Tear

Although porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns offer a good balance between aesthetics and strength, the porcelain layer may wear over time, leading to a less natural appearance. Additionally, the metal base may become visible at the gumline as the gum tissue recedes, necessitating crown replacement.


Natural and Biocompatible

All-ceramic crowns are made entirely from ceramic materials, which can be matched to the color and translucency of the existing teeth. They offer an excellent aesthetic result, as they closely resemble natural teeth. Additionally, ceramic is biocompatible, making it suitable for patients with metal allergies or sensitivities.

Considerations for Strength

While all-ceramic crowns have significantly improved in terms of strength and durability over the years, they may still not be as strong as metal or porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. Therefore, they are typically recommended for front or moderately stressed teeth, whereas stronger materials may be preferred for posterior teeth.

For more information on dental crowns, contact a professional near you.