Dental crowns are one of the most common restorative treatments used to save teeth. Sometimes called a cap, crowns can be made of several different materials, each offing unique advantages. Choosing which type of crown to use depends upon which tooth is being restored.
Metal Crowns Metal crowns can be made of gold, palladium, nickel or chromium. Their advantage is their durability as they rarely wear down, chip or break. They also cause minimal wear to opposing teeth. They are the most durable choice for people who tend to clench their teeth. Their main drawback is cosmetic, so are usually placed on back molars where they are not visible. Patients who are allergic to metals used in crowns have the option of one of the other types of crowns.
Porcelain-Fused-to Metal-Crowns Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns have the advantage of a more natural appearance. Their color can be matched to your natural teeth, and they can be fitted for any tooth. Their main drawbacks are that they can chip, cause more wear to opposing teeth, and occasionally their metal foundation can be seen around the gum line.
Porcelain or Ceramic Crowns In contrast to PFM crowns, ceramic or porcelain crowns are not fused to a metal foundation. They look the most natural of all types of crowns, and completely avoid problems with metal allergies. Like PFM crowns, they wear opposing teeth more than the other types.
Resin Crowns Resin crowns cause less wear to opposing teeth than PFM crowns and are less expensive than other types. Drawbacks include being easier to fracture and wear down faster than PFM crowns.