Understanding Dental Crowns: Materials, Types, and Uses

If you’re experiencing dental issues such as a cracked tooth, severe decay, or a weakened tooth, your dentist may recommend a dental crown as a solution. Dental crowns are versatile restorations that can help restore the function and appearance of your teeth. This article will delve into dental crowns, exploring the materials used, the different types available, and their various uses.

What Are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns, also known as caps, are custom-made restorations covering a tooth’s entire visible portion. They are designed to strengthen and protect damaged teeth while improving their appearance. Dental crowns are commonly used to restore teeth that have undergone root canal treatment, have large fillings, or are severely decayed or cracked.

Materials Used for Dental Crowns

Dental crowns can be made from various materials, each with advantages and considerations. The choice of material depends on factors such as the location of the tooth, the patient’s preferences, and the dentist’s recommendation. Here are some common materials used for dental crowns:

  1. Porcelain: Porcelain crowns are famous for their natural appearance and ability to blend seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. They are stain-resistant and provide excellent aesthetics. However, they may not be as durable as other materials and can be prone to chipping or cracking.
  2. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM): PFM crowns combine the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain. They have a metal substructure for strength and a porcelain outer layer for a natural appearance. PFM crowns are highly durable and suitable for both front and back teeth. However, the metal substructure may be visible at the gumline, compromising aesthetics.
  3. Metal: Metal crowns, often made of gold or silver alloy, are known for their strength and longevity. They are resistant to wear and fracture, making them an excellent choice for molars and teeth that undergo heavy biting forces. However, their metallic appearance may not be ideal for visible front teeth.
  4. All Ceramic: All ceramic crowns are made entirely of ceramic materials, providing excellent aesthetics and natural-looking results. They are highly biocompatible and suitable for patients with metal allergies. All ceramic crowns are excellent for front teeth but may need to be stronger than metal or PFM crowns.

Types of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns come in different types, each with unique characteristics and applications. Your dentist will recommend the most suitable type based on your specific needs. Here are some common types of dental crowns:

  1. Traditional Crowns: Traditional crowns are custom-made in a dental laboratory based on impressions of your teeth. They are typically made of porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or metal. Traditional crowns offer excellent durability and aesthetics but require multiple dental visits for placement.
  2. Same-Day Crowns: Same-day crowns, also known as CEREC crowns, are created using computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. The crowns are milled from a single block of ceramic material in the dental office, allowing for same-day placement. Same-day crowns offer convenience and eliminate the need for temporary crowns.
  3. Implant Crowns: Implant crowns are used to restore missing teeth and replace them with dental implants. These crowns are attached to the implant post, providing a stable and natural-looking replacement tooth. Implant crowns can be made from various materials, depending on the patient’s preferences and the dentist’s recommendation.
  4. Temporary Crowns: Temporary crowns protect the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being fabricated in the dental laboratory. They are typically made from acrylic or stainless steel and designed as temporary solutions until the permanent crown is ready for placement.

Uses of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns have a wide range of uses in restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Here are some typical applications of dental crowns:

  1. Restoring Damaged Teeth: Dental crowns can restore teeth that are severely decayed, cracked, or broken. They provide strength and protection, allowing you to chew and speak comfortably.
  2. Covering Dental Implants: Dental crowns cover dental implants, providing a natural-looking and functional replacement for missing teeth.
  3. Supporting Dental Bridges: Dental crowns support dental bridges, which replace one or more missing teeth. The crowns are placed on adjacent teeth to anchor the bridge securely in place.
  4. Improving Aesthetics: Dental crowns can enhance the appearance of misshapen, discoloured, or severely stained teeth. They can help create a uniform and attractive smile by covering imperfections and improving the overall aesthetics of the teeth.
  5. Protecting Weak Teeth: Teeth that have undergone root canal treatment or have large fillings can become weak and prone to fractures. Dental crowns provide added strength and protection to these weakened teeth, preventing further damage.
  6. Restoring Worn Down Teeth: Teeth that have been excessively worn down due to teeth grinding or acid erosion can be restored with dental crowns. The crowns rebuild the tooth structure, restoring proper function and aesthetics.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How long do dental crowns last?

Dental crowns can last 5 to 15 years or even longer with proper care and maintenance. However, their lifespan depends on various factors, such as oral hygiene practices, biting forces, and the material used for the crown.

  1. Are dental crowns painful to get?

The process of getting a dental crown is generally not painful. Before the crown placement, your dentist will administer local anaesthesia to numb the area, ensuring a comfortable experience. Some patients may experience mild sensitivity or discomfort after the procedure, which usually subsides within a few days.

  1. How should I care for my dental crown?

Good oral hygiene is essential to maintaining the longevity of your dental crown. Brush and floss regularly, and visit your dentist for routine check-ups and cleanings. Avoid biting on hard objects or using your teeth as tools to prevent damage to the crown.

  1. Can dental crowns be whitened?

While dental crowns are resistant to staining, they cannot be whitened like natural teeth. If you have concerns about the colour of your dental crown, discuss them with your dentist, who may recommend professional cleaning or replacement if necessary.

  1. Can dental crowns be replaced?

In some cases, dental crowns may need to be replaced due to wear, damage, or changes in the surrounding teeth. Your dentist will evaluate the condition of your crown and recommend replacement if necessary.


Dental crowns are versatile restorations that address various dental issues, providing functional and aesthetic benefits. Understanding dental crowns’ materials, types, and uses can help you make informed decisions about your dental health. Consult your dentist at Pearl Smile Dental Group for personalised care and guidance if you have concerns or require dental crown treatment in Didsbury, Manchester.

Book your dental check-up or consultation at Pearl Smile Dental Group today to improve the health and beauty of your smile.

Additionally, if you want to enhance your teeth’ appearance after getting dental crowns, you may consider using Boutique Whitening Syringes for effective teeth whitening. These syringes provide a convenient at-home whitening solution. You can find more information about Boutique Whitening Syringes here.