Dental Crowns

A dental crown is arguably the most versatile tool in a dentist's toolkit. It has the potential to transform your smile and the way you feel about yourself. This dental restoration is an excellent way to restore tooth structure and shape and improve aesthetics. Aside from strengthening your teeth, crowns can prevent more extensive dental work like tooth extraction and root canals, which can be expensive and painful. This guide will answer some of your questions about the process, including the different types of crown materials, their pros and cons, and whether they're right for you.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are essentially tooth-shaped caps that encircle the tooth, strengthening it and making it look new again. They can protect weak teeth from damage or hold together a cracked tooth. If you have a tooth that is badly stained, misshapen, or chipped, a dental crown can give it a new lease on life.

Crowns are typically more expensive than dentures or veneers, but they offer several benefits. They are less likely to become loose or fall out than other types of dental restoration, and they look like natural teeth. Crowns are also a good option for people who are uncomfortable wearing a traditional dental prosthesis.

Who Needs Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns are used for both functional and cosmetic reasons. For example, a crown may be used to:

  • Protect a weak tooth from breaking

  • Restore a broken tooth

  • Cover and support a large filling when there isn't enough tooth remaining

  • Hold together parts of a cracked tooth

  • Attach bridges or dentures

  • Provide a natural-looking tooth replacement for dental implants

Crowns are not permanent and may eventually need to be replaced. The lifespan of a crown depends on the amount of wear and tear it is subjected to and the patient's oral hygiene habits.

What is the Difference Between a Crown and a Veneer?

Dental crowns and veneers help restore your smile's appearance, but they work differently. A veneer is thinner than a crown, so it doesn't require as much tooth reduction as a crown. Think of it as a sturdy wallpaper that covers a dull and damaged wall. It only covers the surface and does not compromise the integrity of your teeth.

A dental crown covers the entire tooth above the root. It provides more structural support than a veneer, making it ideal for teeth that have been weakened by deep pits or fractures. Crowns are more complex than veneers since they require preparation work, such as removing decayed or damaged parts of your teeth and replacing them with new material. They also take longer to set. 

Which option is best for you will depend on your teeth' condition and your dental care budget. Dr. Samani will examine your teeth and discuss your goals for treatment before making a recommendation.



What are Onlays and 3/4 Crowns?

Onlays and ¾ crowns are also known as partial crowns. These are more conservative restorations that are only indicated if you have enough healthy tooth structure. Unlike a full dental crown, partials only cover a portion of the tooth. An onlay covers the tooth's chewing surface and extends to one or more cusps (the raised points at the top surface of the tooth). 

In contrast, a 3/4 crown covers three-quarters of the tooth. It is typically used when the tooth is too damaged for a dental filling but not enough for a full-coverage crown.

Placing an onlay is similar to that placing a filling. The tooth is first cleaned and prepared, and then an impression is taken. The onlay is fabricated in a dental laboratory and bonded to the tooth using dental cement. The procedure for 3/4 crowns is the same, except it may be necessary first to remove some of the existing tooth structure to create room for the crown.

What are Dental Crowns made of?

Crowns can be made out of metal, porcelain, gold alloys, or other materials, depending on their use.


Metal crowns are often used for teeth that are heavily damaged or have been treated with root canal therapy. They are also commonly used for molars, which bear a lot of chewing force. Metal crowns can be made from different types of metals, including gold, silver, or nickel.


  • Very strong and durable and can last many years

  • Can be installed in the front or back teeth

  • Less likely to chip, crack, or stain than other types of crowns

  • Cheaper than other crowns


  • May cause allergies and sensitivity in some people

  • Not as aesthetically pleasing as porcelain crowns


A porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crown is a dental restoration that combines the aesthetic qualities of porcelain with the strength and durability of metal. It is made by first creating a mold of the tooth, then placing it in an oven at high temperatures to bond the porcelain to the metal base. This creates a durable but natural-looking tooth that will last many years.


  • Durable and long-lasting

  • Can be used in a variety of situations

  • More aesthetically pleasing than metal crowns

  • Cheaper than all-porcelain


  • Some metals may cause allergies

  • Porcelain can chip or fracture, exposing the metal underneath

  • Lack of the light-reflecting properties of porcelain or ceramic

All Resin

All-resin crowns are made entirely out of plastic or composite material. They can be used to improve the appearance of a tooth without looking fake or out of place. While they can provide a more natural look than metal crowns, they may not be as strong or durable.


  • Match the color of your natural teeth

  • Do not cause allergies

  • The most affordable dental crowns


  • Wear out easily

  • May need to be replaced often

  • More likely to chip or break

  • More prone to staining

All-Ceramic or All-Porcelain

All-porcelain crowns, also known as ceramic crowns, are made entirely from porcelain. Porcelain crowns are some of the most aesthetically pleasing dental crowns available today. While all-porcelain crowns are primarily chosen for their cosmetic benefits, they also have several functional advantages over other dental crowns. Porcelain is a highly durable material that can withstand the rigors of daily use. All-porcelain crowns are also less likely to cause allergic reactions than metal crowns.


  • Best aesthetic to match natural teeth

  • Metal-free and non-toxic

  • Best choice for front teeth restorations


  • Can cost twice as much as other crowns

  • More likely to chip or break than metal crowns or PFM

  • Not ideal for molars

Pressed Ceramic

Pressed ceramic crowns are an increasingly popular choice for dental patients looking for a durable, natural-looking restoration. The crown is made from high-strength ceramic materials that are pressed into shape using hydraulic presses. Once the desired shape has been achieved, the crown is fired with enamel porcelain to strengthen it. Although they typically cost more than other types of crowns, pressed ceramic crowns are a good investment for oral health. With proper care, they can last for many years and help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.


  • Durable because of the strong ceramic core

  • Dentists can fabricate these in one appointment using CAD-CAM technology

  • Great for front teeth restorations

  • Match the color of your teeth


  • Can be expensive

  • The glaze can wear down, exposing the underlying ceramic and making your teeth look yellow or stained

  • Can break or chip easier than metals or PFMs


Zirconia crowns are a type of dental crown made from zirconium oxide, a strong, durable material that looks similar to natural tooth enamel. In addition to their cosmetic benefits, zirconia crowns are known for their superior strength and durability.


  • Stronger than porcelain and PFM

  • Looks like natural teeth

  • Great for back teeth restorations

  • Biocompatible


  • Cost as much as all-porcelain crowns

  • Not as translucent as porcelain and may not produce the same aesthetic results on the front teeth

  • Not as widely available as other types of crowns

Contact Us

(512) 351-4080

Privacy Policy | Terms and Conditions
‍© Cloud Dental Austin 2023


M-F 8am-5pm
Weekends CLOSED

9070 Research Blvd, Austin, TX 78758, USA

Address: 9070 Research Blvd Ste 205

Austin, TX 78758

Copyright by Cloud Dental Austin 2022. All Rights Reserved.