General - Cosmetic - Reconstructive Dentistry
Dr Oliver Colman - General & Cosmetic Dentist



Maybe you recently experienced dental trauma, root canal treatment or some other situation where your tooth became damaged. Your dentist has suggested that you use a dental prosthetic to replace the tooth and support your jaw, but you don't know how you feel about the news.

On the one hand, you'd rather keep your natural teeth to save yourself from discomfort and added expenses. On the other hand, you want to have a full, beautiful smile again to restore your confidence. Luckily, you can have the best of both worlds when you choose a crown.

To install a crown, your dentist files down your existing tooth to create a base. Then he or she takes an impression of the filed tooth and the teeth around it to create a cap or crown. Crownscome in a few different materials. Each fits comfortably, completes your smile and helps you chew naturally. However, each material has different advantages and disadvantages. We'll tell you more below.

1. Porcelain

Many patientschoose porcelain crowns because they look the most natural. Consider this option's benefits and drawbacks before

choosing it.


  • Porcelain crownslook natural, so they blend in with the rest of your teeth and give you the most beautiful aesthetic.
  • They often represent the most comfortable choice for patients with temperature sensitivity since they don't conduct heat or cold well.
  • They have more strength than tooth enamel, so they resist wear well.
  • They provide an ideal optionsfor patients with metal allergies or sensitivities.


  • Although porcelain crowns are stronger than tooth enamel, they have a brittle strength that makes them more prone to cracks and chips. If you have bruxism, you could break your crowns.
  • Porcelain's hardness makesit susceptible to damaging the teeth around it, especially if you clench or grind your jaw.
  • Porcelain crowns also require your dentist to remove more of your natural tooth'sstructure than other materials.

2. Gold

Give your mouth some sparkle and shine by choosing gold crownsinstead. These crownslook less natural, but have a different set of benefits.


  • Gold crownsrepresent the most durable and long-lasting option. They weather teeth grinding and jaw clenching well, even when they only give your teeth a thin coating. Thischaracteristic makes gold the ideal option for molar crowns.
  • While strong, gold also has a soft constitution, which meansit interacts gently with surrounding and opposing teeth. Gold crowns won't wear your other teeth any faster than natural teeth would.
  • Gold only requires a thin coating to protect damaged teeth from further erosion and infection. As a result, you get to keep more of your natural tooth structure.


  • Unlike porcelain, gold doesn't blend in with your teeth's natural aesthetic. But if you don't mind gold peeking around your pearly whites, this drawback won't bother you.
  • Gold tends to conduct temperatures easily, so when you eat hot or cold foods, you could feel some discomfort.
  • Some patients experience metal sensitivity or allergies with gold crowns. However, gold causesthese problemsless often than other metals, like nickel or chromium.
  • Gold crowns often cost more than their porcelain counterparts.

3. Porcelain Fused to Metal

Some dentists also offer you the option to have porcelain and gold composite crowns. These crowns bring both materials' best qualities together.


  • This composite material gives you porcelain's overall strength with gold'sresistance to shattering.
  • The crownslook almost lifelike.


  • While porcelain and gold crownslook more lifelike than gold alone, they still don't look entirely natural.
  • The porcelain sits on a metal base, and some of it could still fracture off.
  • Some patientsreport seeing a dark gold edge near the gum line.

As you consider the crown materialslisted above, decide which benefits you must have and which drawbacks you can't deal with. Then talk to your dentist to learn more.

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