Dental Crowns: What are the Different Types?

Dental Crowns: What are the Different Types?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over the tooth. It is used to improve the tooth’s appearance and restore its size, strength, and shape. The crown is cemented in place. The dental crown can fully encase the visible part of the tooth—the white part above the gum line.

Different Types of Crowns

Crowns can be made from all metal (gold, stainless steel or other alloys), all ceramic, or  .

Stainless steel

Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated and may be used as temporary crowns or definitive crowns in children.

Generally, stainless steel crowns are used for children’s milk teeth since they can be fitted in a single visit. Stainless steel crowns are more cost effective compared to other types of crowns.


Metals that are used in crowns include precious alloys that have higher platinum or gold content or base-metal alloys (i.e., nickel-chromium alloys and cobalt-chromium alloys). Metal crowns are known to effectively withstand chewing and biting forces well. They are also likely to last the longest compared to others.

It is very rare for metal crowns to break or chip. The high price of gold and its metallic color are considered two of the primary drawbacks. However, metal crowns are considered a great option for out-of-sight molars.


Porcelain-fused-to-metal. Dental crowns can be made to match the color of the adjacent teeth. Unfortunately, more wear of the opposing teeth occurs when using this type of crown because the porcelain used is more abrasive. The porcelain portion of the crown can also break off or chip.

Compared to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look just like the natural teeth. However, the metal underneath the porcelain can show through as a dark line. It becomes more apparent if the gums recede. This type of crown can be a good option for back or front teeth as well as for bridges.

All-porcelain or all-ceramic

All-porcelain or all-ceramic dental crowns have a more natural color compared to other options. This type is also ideal for those individuals with nickel allergies. All-ceramic crowns can also be a great option for the back and front teeth. Different types of porcelain are available with different optical properties and strength.

Temporary versus permanent

Temporary crowns can be created in the mouth based on a pre-treatment model. On the other hand, most permanent crowns are custom-created in the dental laboratory. Often, temporary crowns are made of materials that are acrylic-based or stainless steel. They are used to protect the tooth until the permanent crown is ready.

Uses of Dental Crowns

A dental or tooth crown may be required in the following scenarios:

  • To protect a weak tooth from breaking
  • To protect a cracked tooth from breaking
  • To restore a chipped tooth or a tooth that is severely worn down
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover severely discolored or misshapen teeth
  • To cover a dental implant

In children, a stainless steel crown may be used on baby teeth to:

  • Save a milk tooth that’s severely damaged by decay
  • To protect a milk tooth that has been root canal treated
  • Simplify treatment of severe dental decay without the use of general anesthesia in children who are unable to completely follow proper dental care requirements because of behavior, age, or medical history (the Hall technique)

Add pictures of different types of crowns (one for each section)

Hi, Dr. Jaclyn. The article would be posted on third party blogs. It will be up to the blogger  what images they want to include. Since it’s their blog, we cannot demand anything except that they accept the guest post we submit. We can however choose the images when they are posted on the EDG blogs. Thanks.