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Tooth Crown / Dental Crown

A dental crown, or cap, is an artificial top for your tooth created in a lab. The crown will look and feel like the top of your real tooth. It will be cemented in place at our office, and the cement is so strong that the crown can only be removed by a dentist.

Crowns are required in a number of cases. A root canal procedure will require a crown to protect and strengthen the tooth. Crowns are also required for many types of dental bridges and are used in some cosmetic procedures as well.

Four Types of Crowns


A porcelain material is used to create this type of crown, which is most often used to replace front teeth. Ceramic crowns are best for matching the appearance of your real teeth.

Porcelain Fused to Metal.

For greater durability, a porcelain covered metal crown may be used. This has the benefit of excellent matching to your real teeth with the added strength of the metal base.

Gold Alloys.

A mix of gold, copper and other metals, this type of crown provides a very strong bond to the tooth but due to the gold has a small amount of malleability. This means the crown won’t fracture or wear away the adjacent teeth.

Base Metal Alloys.

A crown made of non-noble metals (metals that don’t rust or corrode). These are the strongest type of crown and due to their strength require the least amount of natural tooth material to be removed prior to bonding.

Which Type is Best?

This will depend upon your needs and habits. For example, a porcelain crown looks more natural but if you grind your teeth at night, this type of crown may fracture.

Gold and metal crowns are the most durable, but of course, they don’t look like your real teeth so are not usually recommended for front teeth. In cases where a natural look is desired, but greater strength is needed, a porcelain fused to metal crown may be best.

Porcelain crowns are very hard and therefore highly resistant to wear, but this also means they may wear away at adjacent teeth. Gold and metal alloys are more forgiving, sacrificing some wear resistance to be gentler on adjacent teeth.

How Long Do They Last?

While there can be cases where a crown will loosen or fall out, most crowns will last a lifetime if properly cared for. And if a crown does come loose, it can be refastened or replaced.