Understanding The Different Types Of Dental Crowns Available

cropped 20211105 piara ro1 5941 scaled 1.jpg By Dr. Ram Nair
Dental crowns or teeth crowns are tooth-shaped caps used to restore and improve the colour, appearance and shape of severely stained, cracked, weakened and damaged teeth. They have different types—each has its pros and cons. The type of dental crown you get will depend on the strength of your tooth, budget, and personal preferences.

Types Of Dental Crowns

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There are a few types of crowns on teeth you could choose from, such as:

Gold Crowns

They belong to the metal category of dental crowns. They are made of gold alloys, a combination of gold and other metals, including silver, tin, palladium or copper. Like the other types of crowns, these custom-made caps aim to enclose an entire tooth and protect it from further damage.


  • They are strong and durable, lasting more than 20 years with proper care.

  • They don’t usually wear down as much as other dental crowns.

  • They offer good stability and fit well. They can stand a large amount of biting and chewing force.


  • They are the most expensive type of teeth crowns. Note that the price still depends on the percentage of gold used in the alloy.

  • Gold crown teeth are not as natural-looking as other types of dental crowns.
All-Porcelain Crowns

This type of tooth crown is one of the most popular options because they offer a natural look. They come from porcelain, which can be colour-matched to your surrounding teeth. This is why they are ideal for front teeth and an excellent choice to cover dental implants.

For this traditional crown to fit, your tooth will be prepared to fit the exact shape of the crown. Your dentist will make a dental impression on your tooth and send it to a dental laboratory. You will wear a temporary crown for two weeks before your permanent crown is cemented in place.


  • Porcelain tooth crowns are more aesthetically pleasing since they closely resemble the natural appearance of your real teeth in terms of colour and translucency.

  • Porcelain feels more natural in the mouth compared to other metal crowns.


  • They don’t match the strength of metal or ceramic-metal crowns.

  • Porcelain tooth crowns are more expensive than other types of metal teeth crowns.
Ceramic-Metal Crowns

This type of crown is made of both porcelain and metal. The porcelain is usually used for the portion visible when you smile, which is responsible for the aesthetic appeal. The metal is on the biting surface. They are typically used on back teeth since they are stronger.


  • They are stronger than all-porcelain crowns.

  • Prevent carries

  • They offer a more natural look since the metal is usually hidden.

  • Their natural look colour is long-lasting

  • More affordable than other types of crown


  • A bluish tinge in the gum area can appear.

  • The procedure is more invasive.

  • Depulpation is necessary if the tooth is alive.

  • They are not as strong as gold crowns and may not last as long.
Porcelain-Fused-To-Metal (PFM) Crowns

PFM crowns are made of porcelain fused to a metal substrate. They offer a natural look while providing strength and durability. They are ideal for back teeth for durability.


  • The metal base allows greater grinding force.

  • They are more resistant to chips and cracks than all-porcelain crowns.

  • They are long-lasting, sometimes longer than all-porcelain crowns, but are more affordable.


  • Your dentist needs to remove the enamel of the adjacent teeth.

  • They can cause allergies, like the other metallic crowns.

  • They may mimic the colour of your natural teeth but not the natural transparency due to the metallic base.
Zirconia Crowns

These types of crowns are made of zirconium oxide, which is a strong white ceramic material. They are a newer type of tooth crown and are becoming more popular because they offer a natural look while being durable. The process of getting zirconia crowns may be completed in one visit because your dentist can make them on your appointment while you wait.


  • They are strong and durable.

  • They look natural.

  • Metal-free zirconium crowns are highly biocompatible.

  • Your dentist can place them on your teeth on the same day of your treatment (same-day procedure).


  • They are more expensive than other crown types.

  • They may not be as strong as gold crowns.
E-Max: Lithium Disilicate Crowns

E-Max crowns are a type of all-ceramic crown made of lithium disilicate glass as a base and consist of potassium oxide, quartz, phosphorous oxide, lithium dioxide, alumina and trace elements.

They are strong and offer a natural look. Like zirconia crowns, your dentist or another dental professional can mill them in one day so that you can have them on the same day of your appointment.


  • You don’t have to wait for a few weeks because you can have them on the day of your dental visit.

  • They are aesthetically pleasing and looking great in your mouth.

  • They are an excellent choice for front and back teeth.

  • They are durable and strong.


  • They are expensive.

  • Some dentists report a failure for posterior teeth, especially when doing multiple units.
Composite Resin Crowns

These crowns on teeth are made from a silicon dioxide mixture filled with tooth-coloured plastic matter. The biggest advantage of this type of crown is it can easily be mixed into several shades to match the shade of your natural teeth. These are also the common materials used to make a temporary crown while patients wait for their permanent crown. Sometimes, a stainless steel crown may also be used.


  • They look natural, making them ideal for restoring front teeth.

  • They are less expensive.

  • They are metal-free, so you are less likely to experience allergies.


  • They can easily undergo wear and tear.

  • They are more vulnerable to fractures compared to the other types.

  • There is a high risk of gingival inflammation because your dentist needs to remove a large part of the natural tooth structure.

The Most Commonly Used Dental Crown Materials

The materials used in crowns on teeth include:

  • Metal alloys, such as gold, silver, tin, palladium, copper, nickel, chromium cobalt, molybdenum, titanium

  • Ceramic, including porcelain, zirconia

  • Resin

Which Type Of Dental Crown Is The Most Durable?

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A metal crown is the most durable type of dental crown. They are usually made of gold or another metal alloy. With proper care, they can last for decades. However, they are not as aesthetically pleasing as other types of crowns.

Final Thoughts

Dental crowns are a good dental restoration treatment for people with broken and weak teeth. They can help restore the function and appearance of your smile. Crowns have different types, usually made of different materials, with distinct pros and cons. The final decision about which type of crowns on teeth you will get depends on your oral health issues, preferences and budget.

If you are considering a dental crown procedure, talk to one of the dentists at Piara Waters Dental by calling 08 6196 4661.

During your dental visit, they will examine your teeth and gums to see if dental crowns are your best treatment option. This includes taking digital pictures and dental impressions of your teeth. They will also discuss the different types of crowns and help you choose the right one based on your needs, including your budget.


According to the 2020 Australian national dental fee survey, the average dental crown cost (ceramic and porcelain) can be up to $2,100. It can be lower or higher, depending on your location, the type of crown you will receive, insurance and how many crowns you need. Always ask your dentist for a more accurate estimate.

The common complications of dental crowns include tooth decay, allergic reactions, gum disease, risk of infection, damaged crowns and sensitivity.

Getting dental crowns should not be painful. The procedure is often done under local anaesthesia to numb the area around your tooth. You may feel sensitivity and a little discomfort for a day or two after the treatment, but you can take pain relievers as instructed by your dentist.

Unfortunately, the teeth under your dental crowns can still rot. This is because dental crowns do not protect your teeth from plaque and tartar buildup. To reduce this risk, brush and floss regularly to clean your teeth and gums. You must also visit your dentist for regular check-ups and cleanings to prevent tooth decay.

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