Understanding Dental Crowns

brian rich dmd

Most dentists recommend dental crowns in Knoxville, TN, to restore decayed or damaged teeth that need additional support for maintaining their function. Moreover, dentists use these restorative prostheses in coordination with dental implants to replace missing teeth.


A Closer Look at Dental Crowns

What Are They and When Are They Necessary?

A dental crown is an artificial tooth-like structure or a “cap” that fits over the natural tooth’s visible portion to restore its shape, size, appearance, and function. Since the dentist places the crowns over existing teeth, they’ll have to reduce and shape the teeth’s natural structure to ensure an even bite.  

Patients may need dental crowns for several reasons. Besides protecting weak teeth from breaking, crowns can keep a cracked tooth together. They’re also ideal for restoring broken or severely worn-down teeth or teeth with a large filling and not much tooth structure remaining. In addition, patients may need crowns to hold a dental bridge in place or cover severely discolored or misshapen teeth, dental implants, and teeth that underwent a root canal.

What Are the Different Types of Dental Crowns?


All-resin dental crowns are popular among patients who want an affordable restorative prosthesis. These crowns are made of dental composite resin, which the dentist color-matches to blend with the surrounding teeth. Although all-resin crowns require minimal tooth preparation, they’re weaker than other types of crowns. Since they’re more vulnerable to damage, all-resin crowns don’t always offer the best long-term solution.  


All-porcelain or all-ceramic crowns are made of porcelains and ceramics. These crowns are an excellent choice for patients with allergies to metal because they’re entirely metal-free. Since all-porcelain crowns can seamlessly match the color and shape of existing teeth, dentists often use them for cosmetic treatments. However, porcelain crowns aren’t as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal alternatives. Additionally, they’re known to wear down opposing teeth over time.  

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM)

PFM crowns feature a metal base with porcelain fused over the top. With a PFM crown, patients get the best of both worlds: the strength of a metal crown and a final result that closely resembles their natural tooth. While this option is ideal for individuals who want strong dental crowns that don’t look like metal, its porcelain component may cause faster wear on opposing teeth. Its metal ring may also become visible when gums start to recede.


Since metal dental crowns are entirely made out of metal, they don’t look like real teeth. Furthermore, these crowns usually combine precious metals with a base metal alloy. While they may consist of various base metals, including cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium, dentists also use different metals, such as gold, copper, and platinum, to fabricate the crowns.

Patients looking to restore their molars will benefit from choosing metal crowns. Besides being known for their superior strength, metal crowns don’t wear out the opposing teeth. However, they can corrode over time.  

Stainless Steel

Dentists often use stainless steel crowns for restoring children’s primary teeth after a root canal treatment or pulp therapy. Since kids lose them with their baby teeth, they’re not designed to last long. Moreover, stainless steel crowns are also ideal if temporary crowns are required to protect the treated teeth between their preparation and the permanent crown’s installation.


Considering Dental Crowns in Knoxville, TN?

At Brian Rich, DMD, we’re here for you whether you’re coming in for a regular checkup or need restorative work. If you’re ready to experience courteous and expert dentistry, schedule an appointment with our office today.

General, Cosmetic, and Restorative Dentistry

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