What is the best dental crown material?

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Dental crowns are one of the most popular options for restoring teeth that are chipped, cracked, or decayed. However, not all patients are good candidates for any type of dental crown. Over the past couple of decades, several new and effective restorative materials have become available.

At this point, the question shouldn’t be, “what is the best dental crown material?” but “which dental crown material is best for me?”

In this blog, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the restorative material options that are available so you can make the most informed decision.

Gold-Metal Alloy

These dental crowns are made of a combination of gold and other metals. Before other materials were developed, gold was the most used type of dental crown. Although they are much less popular now, they still offer several benefits, including:

  • Durability
  • Longevity
  • Least reactivity
  • Gentle on opposing teeth
  • Strong enough to handle clenching or grinding of teeth
  • Preserves healthy tooth structures

A major disadvantage of a gold crown is its aesthetic appeal. Nowadays patients are searching for more discreet dental solutions and gold crowns are certainly not discreet. Additionally, may patients report to feeling sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures for the first several weeks following the placement.


Porcelain dental crowns are most known for being aesthetically pleasing. This material is unique because it is both strong and weak. In fact, porcelain is so strong that it can damage a patient’s natural teeth, but when it isn’t thick enough, it can be brittle and easily fractured.

In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, porcelain crowns are also known for being non-reactive for patients with metal sensitivities. They also reduce sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures.

Most dentists only recommend porcelain for patients whose primary concern is aesthetics.

Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM)

Porcelain fused to metal crowns offer all the benefits of both gold and porcelain crowns; however, they still come with a few disadvantages.

Here are the benefits of PFM dental crowns:

  • More strength and durability than porcelain
  • More natural-looking than gold or other metals
  • The gold base offers additional protection to the natural tooth
  • Uses glass ionomer cement

The drawbacks of PRM crowns include:

  • Being less natural-looking than crowns made only of porcelain
  • Visibility of the gold edge at the gumline
  • Porcelain can still fracture, revealing the gold base


Zirconia dental crowns are made from zirconium dioxide. This corrosion-resistant metal is used as a substitute for diamonds and has more recently been used as a material for dental crowns and bridges.

With zirconia, patients get the best of both worlds—these dental crowns are aesthetically pleasing and provide strength and durability.

Zirconia dental crowns offer several benefits, such as:

  • As strong and durable as gold
  • Can be altered to match the patient’s tooth color
  • Translucence makes it appear more realistic
  • Stronger than porcelain
  • Margins are extremely accurate
  • Less expensive for gold

These dental crowns aren’t suitable for patients with metal sensitivities as they may cause an allergic reaction.

Visit an Experienced Dentist

Not every dental crown is suitable for every patient, but one material will be perfect for your dental situation!

The best way to determine which dental crown material is best for your smile, visit an experienced and trustworthy dentist today.

To meet with our Atlanta, GA dentist, Dr. Richard L. Rodgers, call 404-577-6620 today.

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