The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at
and above the gum line.
What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Permanent crowns can be made from stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy),
porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.
- Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crowns that are used on permanent teeth primarily as a
temporary measure. The crown protects the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is made from another
material. For children, a stainless steel crown is commonly used to fit over a primary tooth that’s
been prepared to fit it. The crown covers the entire tooth and protects it from further decay. When the
primary tooth comes out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out naturally with it.
In general, stainless steel crowns are used for children’s teeth because they don’t require
multiple dental visits to put in place and so are more cost-effective than custom-made crowns and
prophylactic dental care needed to protect a tooth without a crown.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be color matched to your adjacent teeth (unlike the
metallic crowns). However, more wearing to the opposing teeth occurs with this crown type compared with
metal or resin crowns. The crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Next to all-ceramic
crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. However, sometimes the metal underlying
the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so
if your gums recede. These crowns can be a good choice for front or back teeth.
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown
type and may be more suitable for people with metalallergies. However, they are not as strong as
porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and they wear down opposing teeth a little more than metal or resin crowns.
All-ceramic crowns are a good choice for front teeth.