What are Dental Crowns?

What are crowns?  When a person has a heavily damaged tooth, a dentist may put on a special “cap” to strengthen it.  A Dental Crown is just such a cap made to improve the shape, color, and appearance of a tooth which has suffered from years of use (or abuse).  There are different kinds of crowns, although they’re usually either metal, ceramic, or ceramic-on-metal hybrids.  Porcelain and other dental-quality ceramics are usually the stuff of ceramic crowns. Metal crowns are made from precious metals such as: silver, gold, palladium, nickel, or even stainless steel.  The ceramic-on-metal type are simply a combination of the two, with the metal “base” sandwiched beneath an outer porcelain shell and the dental implant in the jawbone.  The stainless steel crowns are usually made for young children, as a temporary stand-in for awhile until the permanent crown is ready.

Porcelain crowns are usually the best when it comes down to looks, but they can be susceptible to cracks and breaking, and aren’t for people whose teeth work part-time as a can opener – to say the least.  They’re also much harder than natural enamel, and tend to increase wear on opposing teeth.  These two reasons make them poor choices for back teeth, but very good for front teeth, as they will beautify one’s smile literally overnight! Metal is the durability champ, and doesn’t wear down your natural teeth very much…but who wants a smile reminiscent of a brand-new Lincoln Navigator?   They’re much the opposite of pure porcelain; best suited for back teeth, where they can easily endure a lifetime of sunflower seeds & nuts – out of sight.  Straddling the fence are the ceramic-on-metal types, which combine the natural-tooth appearance of porcelain, while keeping some of the strength and lower cost of metal.


We’ll name just a few ways you can benefit from Dental Crowns:


  • Guard against decay for weakened teeth
  • Act as anchors for dental bridges
  • Maintain them the same way as your natural teeth
  • Protect dental implants and give them purpose
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