Advantages and Disadvantages of Different Types of Dental Crowns

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If your tooth is cracked or has decay, cosmetic dentistry, specifically through the use of dental crowns, can help to restore it. There are various types of dental crowns for every taste, budget, and dental insurance. Read on to find useful information about the pros and cons of different types of crowns as well as the cost of dental crowns for your dental restoration.

All-Porcelain Crowns

All-porcelain crowns are made of porcelain (ceramic). They restore altered tooth structure, and they look and function like an original, natural tooth. Here’s a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of all-porcelain crowns.

All-Porcelain Crowns Advantages

      • No Dark Line.

Unlike porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM), all-porcelain crowns don’t have a problem of a dark line along the gum line as they are all made of white porcelain that perfectly imitates your natural tooth enamel.

      • Cosmetic Beauty.

All-porcelain crowns are translucent and smooth, matching the size, color and shade of your original teeth. All-porcelain crowns are a perfect choice for front teeth restoration.

      • Non-allergic.

All-porcelain crowns are made of biocompatible material, so there is no risk of allergic reactions and gum irritation.

      • Possible to Perform In One Visit.

Unlike other traditional techniques which require a minimum of two dental visits and some turn-around time between procedures, a dental crown procedure that involves all-porcelain crowns can be done in one appointment. After the tooth is prepared for the procedure during the first visit, it takes 20-30 minutes to place a crown and cement it.

All-Porcelain Crowns Disadvantages

      • Fragility.

All-porcelain crowns are less strong and durable than their metal and porcelain-fused-to-metal counterparts. To make your porcelain crown stronger and thicker, more of your original tooth must be extracted. Moreover, all-porcelain crowns are more exposed to cracking and chipping. The fragility may not be a concern on the front teeth which usually experience less biting and chewing force, but porcelain crowns may not be a good fit for back teeth. Regardless, with all-porcelain crowns, you should be more careful when playing sports and biting hard objects. Wearing mouth guards during sports and night guards while you sleep may help to save your teeth.

      • Teeth Sensitivity.

With all-porcelain crowns, you are more likely to experience hypersensitivity to cold and hot. Extreme temperatures may cause cracks and damage your tooth.

      • Worse Fit.

All-porcelain crowns feature a worse fit than PFM crowns. You need a professional dentist to fit the crown correctly onto the place where the tooth meets the gum; otherwise, a bad fit may negatively affect your tooth appearance and function.

      • More Teeth Reduction.

One of the disadvantages of all-porcelain crowns is the fact that they require more reduction of tooth structure, even more than in the case of PFM crowns.

      • More Costly

As a rule, all-porcelain crowns tend to be more expansive than PFM crowns.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal Crowns

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns (PFM) are made of both porcelain and metal. A metal layer is placed on the tooth, then, a porcelain veneer is fused to the metal shell.

PFM Crowns Advantages

    • Aesthetic Appeal.

PFM crowns provide you with a beautiful natural smile. Except for the dark line which can often be seen between the crown and the tooth, they look very similar to all-porcelain crowns.

    • Durability.

Cosmetic imperfection of PFM crowns is compensated by their strength and durability, which is achieved due to a metal component. Indeed, PFM crowns have a high level of success and with proper oral hygiene, brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your dentist’s office, they can last for many years.

    • Better Fit.

A metal structure provides a better fit than all-porcelain crowns.

    • Reasonable Price.

Usually, PFM crowns are cheaper than all-porcelain ones.

PFM Crowns Disadvantages

    • Dark Line on the Tooth.

Along with the strength and durability, the presence of a metal component means a dark line usually appears in the area where the crown meets the tooth. In the case of front teeth restoration, this can be a real problem. Moreover, if you have a gum recession, the dark line of metal could become even more visible.

    • More Tooth Trimming Is Needed.

In order to place new crown that is PFM, the dentist will have to remove a significant amount of tooth – more than with zirconia crowns. However, this is not always a concern. Consult your dentist to choose the right type of tooth crown restoration suitable for you.

Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns are made from zirconium, a very strong material known for its durability.

Zirconia Crowns Advantages

        • Durabiltiy.

Zirconia crowns are extraordinarily strong and can withstand most chewing and biting activities. They are very resistant to high temperatures and, as a rule, don’t cause tooth hypersensitivity. Due to the fact that they are made of crystal, zirconium crowns are much stronger than porcelain and porcelain-fused-to-metal ones.

        • Appearance.

It is hard to differentiate a zirconia crown amongst natural teeth. In addition, zirconia crowns can be modified to suit the shape and size of teeth it will be placed alongside with.

        • Non-allergic.

Due to their biocompatible structure, zirconia crowns rarely provoke allergic reactions or body rejection.

        • Less Tooth Structure Has To Be Removed.

Less material is needed to provide a super strength with zirconia crowns. As a consequence, less amount of your original tooth needs to be removed to fit the crown properly.

Zirconia Crowns Disadvantages

        • It Is Hard To Notice a Decay Under the Crown.

Although a zirconia crown is very durable, there can be tooth decay underneath, and the only possible way to distinguish it is to remove the crown. This can make oral health more of a challenge with zirconia crowns.

        • Too Tough.

The extra strength of zirconia crowns can actually have an abrasive effect. They may negatively impact the tooth root and other neighboring teeth.

        • Reasonable Price.

Usually, zirconia crowns cost less than all-porcelain and almost the same as metal-porcelain crowns. Taking into account all the benefits they provide, zirconia crowns are very cost-effective.


I​​n addition to these three common crown types, there are also all-resin crowns, stainless steel crowns, and gold crowns. Because there are so many options for temporary crowns and permanent crowns, it can be difficult to suggest which type of crown is best for a damaged tooth without a visit to the dentist and considerations about your specific situation.
The decision depends on your budget, your dental insurance policy and the type of dental problem you have. All-porcelain crowns have the best cosmetic appeal, but are less durable and the most expensive. They may be a good option for those patients who want to restore their front teeth, but for more complex dental care concerns, porcelain-fused-to-metal or zirconia crowns may be a better choice — especially for molars’ restoration.
Consult your dentist to choose the best treatment suitable for you.

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At Aesthetic Dental, we promote a healthy lifestyle and preventive dental care to avoid dental emergencies. Our experienced Santa Clarita dentists can provide a range of general services such as regular checkups and cleanings to help keep your mouth healthy and free of infection and emergency dentistry. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you maintain a healthy smile.

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