Marble Surface

Dental Crowns

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth, covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance. The crown, when cemented into place, fully encases the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

Dental Crown

Dental crowns are fixed prosthetic restorations made to restore a damaged tooth to its original shape and size. They’re permanently cemented on teeth that have cracked, extensively decayed, or otherwise been damaged. Although they sometimes extend down onto the root surface, crowns essentially replace the outer aspect of the “crown” part of a natural tooth, so it makes sense that the restorations are called “crowns.”

When affixed, the crown fully encases the portion of the damaged tooth that sits above the gum line. Crowns are custom made to fit over each tooth. They can be made of a variety of different materials, including ceramics, porcelain-and-metal, gold, or resin.

Naples Dental and Implant Center - Dental Crowns - 3d image of a gold crown

All Porcelain Crowns:

This is definitely the most popular type of crown used nowadays. They are entirely made of porcelain material.

Pros of All Porcelain Crowns:

  • Porcelain or ceramic crowns provide the best and most natural look.  They match your surrounding teeth in shape, size, and color.

  • The best option for front teeth restorations.

  • They are biocompatible: that means no metal is used, so they are toxic-free.

Cons of All Porcelain Crowns:

  • They are not as strong as metal crowns. Porcelain crowns can last a long time, but they have to be well taken care of.

  • Patients who suffer from bruxism should opt for gold of PFM

  • They may be more costly than other types of crowns, such as metal crowns.

Naples Dental and Implant Center - Dental Crowns - 3d image of a PFM Crown

Zirconia Crowns:

Zirconium is a relatively new material that combines the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain crowns.  High translucent zirconia and layered zirconia crowns have become a more popular choice lately.

Pros of zirconia crowns:

  • They provide great aesthetics

  • They are strong and long-lasting (less possibilities of chipping or breaking).

  • The process can be less time consuming because zirconia can be cut and shaped at the same dental office. There’s no need to send them over to a dental lab.

  • Zirconia Crowns are less likely to wear down due to their strength.

  • They are biocompatible: as metal free crowns, they are not likely to cause allergic reactions.

Cons of Zirconia Crownse:

  • Their strength can make the teeth they bite against wear down easily.

  • Solid Zirconia can be difficult to adjust

Naples Dental and Implant Center - Dental Crowns - before and after Lithium Disilicate Crowns

5 Types of Dental Crowns:

Gold Crown:

Gold Crowns are usually used for back restorations -and depending on each patient’s needs- some dentists may suggest a gold crown as the preferred option. However, gold crowns don’t make a very popular choice today due to their color and aesthetics.

Pros of gold crowns:

  • They are strong and highly resistant

  • They last a long time if properly cared for

  • Less proportion of your natural tooth needs to be removed

  • They wear down quite slowly, just like the natural enamel

  • They are ideal for posterior restorations (back teeth), especially second molars

Cons of gold crowns:

  • Poor aesthetics: They obviously don’t look like a natural tooth

  • Gold alloy crowns can affect some people and produce some side effects such as allergic reactions or swelling

Naples Dental and Implant Center - Dental Crowns - 3d image of a Porcelain Crown

PFM Crown:

Porcelain fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns are another widely used type of dental crowns. They provide both strength (due to their metal structure) and aesthetics (due to the porcelain coat that covers the cap).

Pros of PFM crowns:

  • They provide great aesthetics and durability

  • They’ve been around for over 50 years. We know they work well.

  • They are less costly than all porcelain crowns

Cons of PFM Crowns:

  • The metal in these crowns may cause a grey line at the gumline. This may not give the 100% aesthetic look that all porcelain crowns provide.

  • For people who clench their teeth, this type of crown may wear down more easily against the opposing teeth.

Naples Dental and Implant Center - Dental Crowns - picture of a zirconia crown

Lithium Disilicate Crowns:

The newest type of crown in dentistry today is known as E -Max. It is a type of all-ceramic crown made of lithium disilicate (which is also light and thin).

Pros of E-max crowns:

  • Great aesthetics. They look great in your mouth.

  • They can be durable and very strong.

  • They provide a great choice both for front and back teeth.

Cons of E-Max Crowns:

  • They could be more expensive, especially to the dentist (who may or may not transfer that cost to you)

  • Some dental professionals have reported failures using E-Max for posterior teeth, especially when doing multiple units.