Dental crowns are used to cover a tooth and to restore the tooth’s strength, shape, size and appearance. Due to the various reasons for requiring a crown, permanent crowns are made from several different materials, such as stainless steel, metal, porcelain, ceramic or resin.
The stainless steel crowns are prefabricated and mostly used to temporarily cover permanent teeth until a permanent crown is made of an alternative material. These crowns are generally used for children’s teeth as they can be applied relatively easy in one visit and they are less expensive than custom-made crowns.
The stainless steel crowns cover a child’s whole tooth to protect it from additional decay, and it comes off naturally when the primary tooth arrives to accommodate the permanent tooth.
Metal crowns are an ideal choice for those molars that are not visible. These crowns can be made of gold, nickel, chromium, palladium or other alloys. One big benefit of the metal crowns is that only a minimum amount of tooth structure needs to be removed and just a tiny amount of wear is caused to the opposing teeth.
Another benefit is that metal crowns can easily withstand biting and chewing as they rarely break or chip. As a result, metal crowns usually last the longest duration of any dental crown.
Porcelain crowns are a great choice for front and back teeth as the crown color can be matched to the adjacent teeth. These crowns have the cosmetic benefit of appearing to be real teeth. However, porcelain crowns are more prone to chips and breaks, and they can cause some moderate wear to the opposing teeth.
Ceramic crowns are ideal for the front teeth as they are the best natural-color-match to other teeth. Although ceramic crowns are weaker than porcelain crowns and can wear down opposing teeth, these crowns are a great alternative for those who may have metal allergies.
Finally, the resin crowns are the least expensive of all the dental crown types. Although these crowns represent cost savings, they can undergo significant wear and tear with time.