Crown Materials: Pros and Cons

No one likes getting dental work done, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. When you’re getting a crown done, it’s important to do your research beforehand to determine what options are available to you. Being well informed can make the procedure less stressful and let you know exactly what to expect.

Crowns are made of several different types of materials. Let's look at each one so you can evaluate your options.


Metal crowns are most commonly made out of gold alloy (pure gold is too soft to be used for crowns). It can also be made out of other metal alloys, such as palladium.

Pros include:

  • Gentle and non-abrasive to neighboring teeth
  • Last the longest—do not wear down easily

The most common complaint with metal crowns is the metallic color. Metal crowns are generally best used for back molars, where they’ll be less visible.


Porcelain is one of the most popular crown materials, mostly for its cosmetic benefits. Porcelain looks the most lifelike in the mouth, so they are commonly used for front teeth. Pros include:

  • Matches to natural tooth color
  • Does not conduct hot or cold sensitivity
  • Does not bother patients with metal allergies or sensitivities
Porcelain cons include:
  • Harder than tooth enamel, which can damage the surrounding teeth
  • Can fracture easily under pressure (such as consistent teeth grinding) if it’s too thin


Porcelain-and-metal crowns are another popular option. They can be used for both front and back teeth.

Porcelain/metal fusions’ biggest draw is that the color can be matched to the adjacent teeth. It is also stronger than regular porcelain or resin.

There are several cons to this alloy, however:

  • A dark metal line can sometimes show through the porcelain at the base of the tooth
  • Causes more wearing to neighboring teeth than metal or resin
  • Porcelain portion can chip or wear off


Ceramic crowns are much like porcelain—they are a natural color and don’t bother metal allergies. They wear down faster than metal crowns, however, and are more delicate and easy to fracture.

Ceramic crowns are best used for front teeth.


Resin crowns are, again, similar to ceramic and porcelain crowns in that they wear down and fracture easily. They are the cheapest option, however, which makes them fairly popular.

Resin crowns are made from a composite material similar to that used in fillings. They are the most natural-looking crown, and best used for front teeth.

Stainless steel

Stainless steel crowns are used only as temporary substitutes while permanent crowns are being made in the lab. They are also commonly used for children’s baby teeth to protect the decaying or damaged tooth until the permanent tooth comes in.

The material you choose depends on your budget, where the crown will be placed, and what your priorities are.

Call our offices today if you have any questions or to set up an appointment with one of our dentists in Oshawa. We're happy to help!


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