Different Types of Dental Crowns and How They Work

Dental crowns

A Brief Sketch of All Types of Crowns for Teeth

Dental crowns (or tooth caps, as they are also known) are a dental restoration option for encasing and protecting portions of decayed or damaged teeth. They’re an affordable and effective solution in most cases, and they don’t take too long to adjust to. Naturally, since not all tooth problems are the same, there are many types of crowns for teeth. In the following paragraphs, we’ll give you an overview of all of them. Should you have more questions, however, you can view this page for more information and appointment booking if you’re in the Arlington Heights, IL, area.

What Are Dental Crowns?

As we’ve said, dental crowns are a dental restoration method used in those cases when there’s a portion of the tooth that can be saved. In addition, they can be placed over dental implants, too. In either case, the crown covers the entire visible area of the remaining tooth, restoring both its appearance and function and allowing you to eat, speak, and smile again.

Crowns can be made of various materials, for example, ceramic, porcelain, and even metal. All of them, however, are made to fit every individual patient’s tooth and allow them to adjust to them quickly.

Putting the crown in place and fixing it is a pretty straightforward process. It takes an hour and a half at most, although you might need to schedule a couple of appointments before you can undergo the procedure. After all, your dentist will need to remove the decayed portion of the tooth, prepare you for the procedure, and actually make the crown. Sometimes, dentists give patients temporary crowns they can wear until the actual, long-term crown is cemented. 

What Do They Do?

We resort to crowns when patients have weak or damaged teeth, when they get broken, or when there are large fillings in them. The procedure is straightforward, affordable, and effective in most cases, and with a good dental hygiene routine, crowns can be a long-term solution. In short, dental crowns can do the following:

  • Protect damaged teeth: When teeth get chipped or cracked, it becomes very easy for them to break and suffer further damage. Placing dental crowns on top of them prevents that, removing the need for additional appointments.
  • Help you chew and speak: We use our teeth to grind food, but we also use them to speak, as they’re essential for the production of many consonants. Damaged teeth might diminish our ability to produce all sounds, and dental crowns help prevent any such troubles. They also balance out the force we apply on our teeth when we chew, preventing other teeth from getting damaged and worn out.
  • Allow you to smile again: Functionality is important, but looks are by no means meaningless. A chipped or decayed tooth might kill one’s confidence. Luckily, with dental crowns, a lack of self-confidence will be a thing of the past.
  • Support dental bridges and implants: As we’ve said, crowns can be placed on implants, too. They anchor them and keep them in place and help them bridge the gap between healthy teeth.

Different Types of Crowns for Teeth

There are various options when it comes to dental crowns. No matter what you go for, however, their most basic role is still the same: restoring and protecting damaged teeth. The ideal type of crown will vary on a case-to-case basis, but your dentist will suggest what the best course of action would be. To give you an overview of all the options you’ll likely have at your disposal, we can divide dental crowns into seven categories:


The key difference between porcelain and more robust crowns that we’re going to cover below is that they are designed with aesthetics in mind more so than functionality. However, that doesn’t mean they sacrifice functionality. On the contrary, they offer a balance between appearance and practicality, providing patients with a natural-looking solution. Sometimes, porcelain crowns are necessary; for example, if the patient is allergic to some kinds of metal used in restorative dentistry,

Porcelain and metal

Porcelain-used-to-metal or PFM crowns consist of a metal base and a layer of porcelain on the surface. They’re a rather durable solution, and they usually look realistic, being made to match the appearance of your natural teeth. Like pure-porcelain crowns, PFM crowns are a good balance of strength and natural looks, but they’re a bit more robust thanks to their metal base, which can take a lot of pressure when chewing.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel dental crowns are typically used on baby teeth. When there’s a large cavity or when a huge portion of the tooth is damaged and needs removal, stainless steel crowns can be a replacement for fillings. They are much tougher than fillings, removing the need for future appointments should the fillings fall out. In addition, they cover most of the tooth surface, completely encasing it and preventing it from getting damaged further.


Ceramic crowns have a really strong core, and their appearance is extremely lifelike. If you have pearly white teeth, ceramic crowns will easily match their sheen and luster. However, ceramic crowns can sometimes wear out opposing teeth more easily, and they might not be a viable option if only a small portion of your tooth is missing.


Resin crowns are usually a temporary solution. They’re not super durable, so they’re the perfect solution in those cases when you need to wait for something more permanent to be ready. They’re also metal-free, so they look much better than stainless steel crowns used on baby teeth. In addition, they’re probably the most affordable type of crown, although that comes with its downsides, namely the fact that they wear down easily.


Gold tooth crowns are typically reserved for molars due to aesthetic reasons. Dentists usually mix gold with other metals to reduce the cost of the procedure, but even gold alloys are super tough. These crowns rarely break, and they are a viable option no matter the damage levels.

Temporary crowns

Temporary crowns are usually made of resin or other kinds of plastic. You can wear them for up to three weeks or thereabouts, and they’re a great solution that will help you eat without pain while you wait for a more permanent solution to be manufactured. 

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