There are a few different types of dental crowns available. Each has its own pros and cons. To help patients better understand and make the best decisions about the materials used in their dental work, we have outlined the common types below:


These are referred to as PFM crowns for short – they can be color matched to your other teeth and are the most common type of crown used. PFM crowns are very strong, have a mostly natural appearance, and are affordable. They are typically recommended for rear teeth, as they have a good aesthetic appeal and the metal base provides a strong core that can withstand the pressure exerted while chewing.

However, in full natural light, the metal base can show through as a shadow on the tooth, especially on front teeth. If your gums recede from the crown over time, the metal base will be seen as a dark line that will show where the crown meets the gum.

Full Porcelain – Ceramic Crowns

For the best results and most natural appearance, full porcelain or ceramic crowns are a must. They are likely necessary if you have metal allergies as well. They are most commonly used for front teeth as they have an excellent natural appearance. However, they are not as strong as PFM crowns, are more expensive, and can be prone to chipping or cracking. As such, they are not typically used for rear teeth unless a large portion of the tooth is visible when smiling.

Zirconia Crowns

If you require better strength and a more natural appearance, Zirconia is a good option. Zirconia crowns are the strongest crowns available and they are comparable to full porcelain and ceramic crowns in terms of appearance. They are also the most expensive.

Zirconia crowns are strong enough that they can cause wear and damage to your other teeth. They are usually reserved for rear teeth. They can either be milled out of solid blocks, or used as a strong, natural looking base fused to a porcelain veneer. Since zirconia crowns are so durable, they can me made much thinner than other crowns and require less removal of the tooth for placement.

Temporary Crowns

Temporary crowns are typically made of an acrylic that is cemented onto the tooth for short period of time. These are used as placeholders while a permanent crown is made. These temporary crowns can be fitted immediately after preparation is done on the tooth for a permanent crown. They are delicate and easy to break, so care is required while eating and products like hard candy should be avoided.