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Update: June 3, 2024 | Author: Dr. Ronald Pham | Publish: May 16, 2024

What is the Best Type Of Dental Crowns Material?

Patients ask me, “What is the best material for dental crowns?” The options often include gold, porcelain, and zirconia. It takes time to choose.

Understanding structure of dental crowns

But don’t worry. This guide will simplify your choice. We’ll assist you in finding the ideal fit for your distinctive smile.

Different Types of Dental Crown Material Used

Metal Crowns

Gold crowns are known for their durability, often lasting 10-15 years or more with proper dental care. However, their noticeable gold alloy appearance makes them a less popular choice versus porcelain or ceramic crowns

What type of material is used for crowns

In addition, other metal alloys used for crowns include metal bases chromium-cobalt or nickel-chromium.

Porcelain / Ceramic Crowns

Crowns are made of porcelain, ceramic, or types of all-ceramic crowns that provide the most natural appearance and are biocompatible with gum tissues.

They are an excellent choice for front teeth and cosmetic restorations. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can closely match the color and clarity of your natural teeth.

Ceramic dental crowns

Porcelain dental crowns can be more prone to chipping or breaking than metal or zirconia. However, advancements in dental ceramics have improved their strength. The tooth structure removal needs vary depending on the case and the type of crown.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns

PFM crowns are a well-known dental repair material. They combine strong metal with natural-looking porcelain. The porcelain exterior complements your smile well. The metal core ensures durability for chewing.

Type porcelain fused to metal crowns

PFM crowns cost less than all-porcelain crowns. But they might show a faint metal line at the gum line. This is especially true if a gum recession occurs.

The best material for your dental crown depends on your needs and wants. Please speak with your dentist about the best choices for your particular smile.

Zirconia Crowns

Dental technicians craft zirconia crowns from zirconium dioxide. It’s a very strong and durable ceramic. These strong restorations last a long time. With proper care, they often improve smiles for over a decade.

Type zirconia crowns

An expert can shade zirconia. It will match and blend your existing teeth. This will give you a radiant smile. Natural enamel has a complex structure with unique translucency. But zirconia crowns offer a beautiful, natural-looking alternative.

Lithium Disilicate (E-MAX) Crowns

Lithium disilicate ceramic makes E-MAX crowns. They copy the natural see-through and color of teeth. This makes them popular for enhancing smiles for front teeth and suitable for back teeth. The choice depends on your needs and your dentist’s advice.

Type Lithium Disilicate (E-MAX) Crowns

E-MAX crowns can look better than zirconia, or porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns. Zirconia crowns can appear opaque, while PFM crowns may exhibit a visible metal line at the gum line.

E-MAX crowns provide a lasting solution for a confident smile. Their longevity can vary. It depends on factors like oral hygiene and habits. But their resilience makes them an excellent investment in your oral health.

Choose The Best Type of Crown Material For You

We believe that several factors should be considered when selecting the best type of material for crowns:


A natural look is a top priority, especially for front teeth. All ceramic, porcelain, or E-MAX crowns are great options for this. These materials can match the color of your nearby teeth. They often produce natural and nice results.

crowns enhance your smile’s aesthetics

But making a seamless blend is hard. This is because of differences in lighting and tooth characteristics. People favor these materials for their looks. However, one may consider zirconia.

It’s strong and durable, especially for back teeth. The best crown material depends on your needs and preferences. You should consult a dentist to discuss the best choices for your case.


Gold or zirconia crowns for molars or teeth subject to heavy biting forces. These materials offer superior strength and durability to withstand chewing forces.

Durability dental crowns

PFM (Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal) crowns can be durable. However, the porcelain part may chip or break under heavy stress.

Gold or zirconia crowns are often preferred for areas with heavy biting forces. This is because they are strong and resistant to wear.


Restorations for front teeth focus on looks and functionality (biting and speech). However, back teeth restorations focus on being solid and durable. This is because they are for chewing.

When you recommend a material, please consider the placement of the crown. You can place crowns on either the front or back teeth.


Dental crown prices vary, but there are options for every budget. Gold crowns are the priciest, while stainless steel crowns are the most affordable.

Porcelain and ceramic offer a balance of cost and aesthetics. Your insurance might cover part of the cost! Check your plan to discover your benefits.

Dental Crowns procedure

A dental crown requires two appointments to complete. We’ve prepared the tooth. We take impressions and put on a temporary crown at the first visit.

The lab makes the permanent crown. The dentist cements it onto the prepared tooth at the next appointment.

We use local anesthetic (standard practice) to provide minimal discomfort during dental procedures. Taking good care of your restoration can prolong its life.

This care includes cleaning and flossing near your crown. It also includes getting regular dental exams.

Dental crowns can last:

  • Zirconia or gold crowns lasts 10-15 years. (These are averages, and results can vary greatly in individual variation.)
  • E-MAX and Porcelain crowns can last 5 to 15 years. (These are averages, and results can vary greatly in individual variation.)
  • PFM: 10 to 15 years (These are averages, and results can vary in individual variation.)

However, diet and grinding habits (bruxism) can affect a crown’s lifespan. Oral health matters, too.

Important Note: Please ask a dentist for accurate and personalized info. They have information about dental crown procedures and their expected lifespan.

Frequently Asked Questions

When Do You Need a Crown?

After a full exam, your dentist will decide the best action. However, common reasons for a crown include:

  • Strengthening a tooth weakened by decay or a large filling.
  • Protecting a tooth after a root canal.
  • Covering a dental implant.
  • Restoring a cracked, broken tooth, or damaged tooth.
  • Improving your bite alignment.
  • Enhancing your smile’s aesthetics.

Are dental crowns painful?

Getting a dental crown shouldn’t be painful with proper anesthesia. Following the surgery, some soreness is possible. But you can usually manage it with over-the-counter pain relievers.

How much does a dental crown cost?

A type of dental crown might cost various amounts. It depends on the material, location, dental insurance, the complexity of the procedure, and the dentist’s expertise… Porcelain crowns are more expensive than metal crowns. Contact your insurance company to determine your coverage for dental crowns.

Can dental crowns get cavities?

The crown material can’t get cavities. But, decay can start under the crown (where tooth and crown meet) if oral hygiene is lacking. Brush twice daily. Floss often. See your dentist for check-ups. This prevents decay around your tooth crowns.

How long does it take to get a dental crown?

First Appointment:

Cleaning out decay and shaping the tooth are standard procedures.

Impressions or scans are essential for creating a custom crown.

Dentists place a temporary crown to protect the tooth. They do this while they’re making a permanent one.

Second Appointment:

The two-to-three-week time frame is accurate for traditional crown fabrication.

Removing the temporary crown and cementing the permanent one are the main steps.

CEREC Technology:

CEREC does allow for same-day crowns, eliminating the second appointment. It is becoming more common. But not all dental practices have it.

Does a dental crown look natural?

Porcelain, ceramic, and E-MAX crowns look very natural. They can match the color and translucency of your teeth.

However, they may not be indistinguishable from natural teeth, especially upon close inspection. The final appearance of a crown depends on the dentist’s skill and the quality of the crown material.


Consider your needs and priorities. Use them to choose the best dental crown material. Aesthetics, durability, tooth location, and cost all play a role. They affect the decision.

Our goal at Restoration Dental is to help you achieve your ideal smile. We’re the best dentistry practice in Orange, CA. Do you need a crown or have any questions?

Make an appointment with the dental office today. Our staff will identify the best crown material. This will restore your tooth’s health, function, and appearance.

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Dr. Ronald Pham

Dr. Ronald Pham, DDS, is a Doctor of Dental Surgery who graduated from the USC Ostrow School of Dentistry in 2015. With over 8 years of experience in general dentistry, he specializes in Dental restoration, Root canal treatment, and Dental implants…

Dr. Pham has restored the smiles of +2,000 patients and is committed to providing professional dental care focused on patient comfort. He achieves this by combining a welcoming space and state-of-the-art dental technology.

Guaranteed smiles!

Guaranteed Smiles!

As a premiere dentist office in Orange CA, we will always make sure that your experience is memorable, friendly, and professional. We strive to meet your highest expectations in every way imaginable, from your very first interaction with our office staff, to the quality of treatment you receive. We don’t take our patients’ trust for granted, and will promise to over-deliver with your best interest in mind. So give us a call today, and experience our first-class service!

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