October 21, 2021 by Dr. Abhi Singh

Different Types Of Dental Crowns: Advantages & Disadvantages

Dental crowns are a fantastic way to improve your amazing smile and the function of your teeth. Not only do they restore lost tooth structure, but they can also be used to protect teeth from further damage or provide support for weakened tooth structures. 

Dental Crowns have been around for years but have undergone significant changes in recent years as advancements in technology have allowed for more durable materials to be used and improved techniques for attaching them to teeth that need repair or restoration. 

This blog post will explore the most common crown types available for patients in Australia and their advantages and disadvantages depending on your needs.

What are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown is a custom-made cap that encases the entire surface of a tooth. It can strengthen cracked or structurally compromised teeth, cover poorly shaped fillings, and restore discoloured, badly shaped or otherwise unsightly teeth to their natural form and function. 

Dental crowns work to naturally improve both the look and function of your teeth by providing protection and support where it’s needed most. Aside from covering up damaged teeth, they also fill in gaps where there are missing ones. 

Depending on the situation, you can have the crown attached on the 1st visit or 2nd dental visit. 

Types of Dental Crown

Crowns are a common dental process to fix teeth that have been damaged by decay, injury, or other dental problems. There are different types of crowns and a variety of materials used, and each type has its pros and cons. An experienced dentist will recommend the type that is appropriate for your unique dental situation. 

All-ceramic crowns / All-porcelain crowns

Advantages: 

  • This permanent crown is excellent. If you have metal allergies, then crowns made of ceramic material are a popular choice. 
  • They can be matched with the natural tooth colour, and they’re also made from durable material that won’t chip as easily. So it is a good option for front teeth.

Disadvantages: 

  • Ceramic crowns are not as durable as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. 
  • They might weaken the permanent tooth adjacent to them a little more than metal or resin crowns. 

Composite Resin crowns

Advantages:  

  • Less expensive than other types of dental crowns.
  • Composite resin crowns are aesthetically appealing because they replicate the natural look and colour of a tooth.
  • Resin crowns are metal-free, so people with metal allergies can get them without worries.

Disadvantages:  

  • They are not long-lasting and will only last a few years. Since the crowns lack durability, a replacement will likely be needed sooner than that. 
  • For the crowns to fit on the teeth, a significant amount of enamel must be removed. 
  • Gum inflammation is also prevalent when this type of crown is used.

PFM (Porcelain fused to metal) crowns

Advantages

  • Porcelain fused to metal dental crowns look natural because the crown’s shade can be matched to the natural teeth. It can be a good choice for front or back teeth. 
  • The chemical bond of porcelain and metal is highly resistant to pressure from chewing for extended periods of time. With proper care and good oral hygiene practices, they may last a long time.
  • The structural and aesthetic appeal of PFM crowns are excellent and are good for periodontal health. 

Disadvantages: 

  • They are expensive due to the increasing price of precious metals.
  • Sometimes a dark line can be seen against the metal beneath the porcelain crown cap.
  • There’s a major risk of the porcelain portion of the crown chipping or breaking off, causing the adjacent teeth to wear down. When the top and bottom of your mouth are closed, the teeth that come into touch with the crown are subjected to wear.

Metal alloys / Gold crowns

Gold, platinum, and base-metal alloys are just a few of the metals that may be utilised in dental crowns.

Advantages: 

  • They are an excellent option for hidden molars.
  • It only requires minimal tooth preparation as only a thin layer of the enamel has to be removed to fit the crown.
  • Metal crowns are the most durable dental prosthesis as they can withstand biting and chewing forces.

Disadvantages:

  • The most expensive type of dental crown.
  • Bright metallic appearance that does not blend with the other teeth

When You Should Get a Dental Crown

  • Final restoration after root canal treatment or endodontic treatment: A dental crown is used after root canal therapy has been completed on a tooth to protect the healing site from further damage. Dental crowns cover up any exposed tissue after the root canal dental procedure is finished and help to protect your entire tooth. It allows for more natural chewing function without pain or sensitivity in the damaged region and reduces further damage to the tooth.
  • Chipped or cracked teeth: For some people, their normal teeth are more prone to breakage than others. The tooth is more likely to fracture due to the constant pressure it endures as a result of numerous fillings, trauma, nighttime grinding (bruxism), jaw clenching, or other unhealthy habits. As a result, the natural tooth structure will degrade, making it more prone to fractures.

A crown may be required if the cracks in the teeth are extensive. Since the teeth have been fractured, an entire crown is necessary to minimise the risk of infection and prevent additional breakage. If you grind or clench your jaw while sleeping, mouthguards will usually be recommended in conjunction with treating a cracked or chipped tooth.

  • A tooth that has decayed: A bacterial infection is responsible for tooth decay, also known as dental caries. If left untreated, the bacteria Streptococcus Mutans generates a powerful acid that can damage the enamel of your teeth and form cavities. It may decay and damage the teeth’s structure, so having a dental crown can safeguard the remaining healthy original tooth structure if caries is treated promptly.

Furthermore, if your tooth is breaking down to the point that it is causing damage to neighbouring teeth, you should consider wearing a dental cap. It will keep germs from progressing and causing damage in other parts of your mouth.

  •  A large filling: With aging, teeth may deteriorate, and some old fillings may not be secure in certain situations. The use of a dental crown is recommended when you have cavities near your nerves since it will support this area and prevent any bacteria from developing.

Dentists frequently advise dental crowns as the recommended alternative treatment option for these types of oral health issues since they are better and they give essential structural support to your natural teeth.

  • Restoration failure: A dental crown procedure is an excellent option for teeth that are at risk of breaking after major repairs. A weak tooth can easily break after a major restoration, compromising its functionality and lifespan. Putting a crown on top of the tooth helps ensure that it functions properly and remains in place, ensuring its long-term health. There is a possibility that the restoration will not suffice to keep the tooth in place. Increased force or heavy mastication (chewing) may lead to a fracture or crack in a tooth.
  • Aesthetic appearance: A person who is dissatisfied with their dental appearance may choose to have them fixed through cosmetic enhancement. Crowns are applied over the natural teeth to modify the appearance of your smile after you’ve had a cracked tooth or lost teeth due to grinding or aging. Teeth discolouration, misshapen teeth, and missing teeth are all treated in this manner. In most cases, crowns or veneers are advised.
  • Replacing a missing tooth: Among the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures is the use of dental crowns. Artificial teeth, such as dental crowns, are often attached to dental implants as a prosthetic. A fake tooth is placed on top of the implant once the implant has become osseointegrated with the jawbone. A denture, dental bridge, and dental crown are the most commonly used prostheses. 

Final Thoughts

Dental crowns are a great way to protect your existing teeth and maintain healthy oral health. They can also be used as part of the treatment for dental decay, such as amalgam fillings or composite filling replacement. We would love to help you find out more about the types of dental crowns so that you can make the best informed decision on what fits your needs and budget.

Byford Smiles specialises in all aspects of dentistry, including restoring damaged teeth with a dental implant-supported bridge or replacing missing teeth with traditional bridges or full-mouth rehabilitation treatments. If you have questions about these treatments, get in touch today at 08 9532 0247. Our professional dentists are ready to answer all of your questions, and we want nothing but the best for our patients.

AboutDr. Abhi Singh
Dr Abhi is a member of the Australian Dental Association and loves living and working in our community. He has over a decade of experience in all aspects of dentistry with a special interest in implants, wisdom teeth removal and cosmetic dentistry.