Dental Crowns

The Uses and Types of Dental Crowns

The practice of general dentistry has to deal with many different types of challenges, and while minor tooth chips and other less complicated cases are commonplace, larger, more complex dental health problems require the proper treatment option as well. Dental crowns are a good example of a more intensive dental procedure.

Let’s take a look at some of the most common uses for dental crowns and the various types available, from porcelain to stainless steel.

Dental Crowns Lake County IL

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns are in essence ‘caps’ for your teeth, which are placed over your natural tooth as a type of cover, intended to help improve the shape, size, appearance and functionality of a damaged tooth. Dental crowns are made in a specialized laboratory and when they are permanently cemented into place, a porcelain crown will fully encase the remaining portion of the tooth that lies above the gum line.

What are dental crowns used for?

Dental crowns are useful in many situations, including:

  • Protecting a weak tooth from further decay
  • Holding together a cracked tooth
  • Restoring a severely worn-down tooth
  • Covering a tooth jeopardized by a large filling or natural material loss
  • Cementing a dental bridge in proper place
  • Concealing dental implants
  • Cosmetic concerns

What types of crowns are commonly available?

While most people are familiar with traditional porcelain crowns, there are a number of other options available as well.  Your dentist will help you select the best treatment option for your budget and specific dental health needs. Choices include:

Stainless Steel

These are usually prefabricated, and employed as a temporary measure.  They protect the tooth while the permanent crown is being manufactured from one of the other materials listed below. They are often used in pediatric dentistry because of their low cost.


Gold, palladium and other base-metal alloys can all be used to create dental crowns.  These are often the strongest and most durable option available. The biggest drawback here is their appearance; that can be compensated for by employing them exclusively on rear molars.

Porcelain-Metal Fused

Combining the strength of a metal dental crown with the attractive outward appearance of a porcelain crown, a porcelain fused to metal dental crown is a very popular option. One thing to consider with a fused crown is the fact that over time the metal can show through as your gum line recedes.


A less expensive option than some other dental crowns, an “all-resin” crown can tend to wear down significantly more quickly over time, and they have been known to fracture relatively easily as well.

All Ceramic Porcelain

The best available color match for your natural tooth will be found with a porcelain crown; however, they do not have the strength or durability of a porcelain-metal fused crown and tend to wear down opposing teeth faster than normal.  An all porcelain crown is generally a good option for highly visible front teeth.

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