Porcelain Crowns vs. Metal Crowns: A Comparative Study

Restorative dentistry uses dental crowns to preserve and improve damaged teeth. Porcelain and metal are the two most often used materials for dental crowns, among many others. This article compares porcelain and metal crowns, highlighting their pros and cons.

Our discussion will include durability, aesthetics, cost, and tissue effect to assist patients and dentists in deciding. Understanding the distinctions between these two materials is essential when selecting a crown type since each patient has unique dental demands. 

This detailed blog seeks to illuminate these aspects and help you make the greatest oral health choice.

Understanding Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped “caps” attached over a tooth. Imagine a crown that a king or queen might wear. It sits atop their head, right? Now, picture that on a much smaller scale, and you have the basic idea of a dental crown. But these crowns are usually made from porcelain or metal instead of gold or jewels.

But why do we need them? Well, our teeth go through a lot. They withstand a lot, from helping us chew our favorite foods to being the victim of a sweet tooth. Sometimes, they might need a little extra help. That’s where dental crowns come in. For comprehensive oral care in Bentleigh, meet Dr. Rita. She’s an expert in dental crowns and can help you make the best decision for your smile. Dr. Rita will assess your teeth and explain how a crown may benefit your health, comfort, and appearance.

A dental crown’s main job is to cover a damaged tooth. Not just for the sake of coverage but to add strength, improve its appearance, and align it properly in your mouth. Whether it’s a tooth decayed, cracked, or worn down, a crown can bring it back to its former glory. 

Porcelain Crowns

Crowns made of porcelain are a form of dental treatment that covers a complete tooth’s visible surface and protects it from further damage. They come from a durable, high-quality porcelain material that closely mimics the look and feel of natural teeth. Porcelain crowns are custom-made to fit perfectly on your existing teeth and can be used to correct a variety of issues.

Why choose porcelain crowns?

Porcelain crowns provide several benefits compared to alternative therapeutic options. They are strong, durable, and have a long lifespan. 

Additionally, the material used in porcelain crowns can match the color of your teeth, making them look very natural. Porcelain crowns also require minimal preparation of the tooth before placement, making them a minimally invasive option for dental restoration.

How are porcelain crowns placed?

A porcelain crown usually requires two dentist sessions to complete. The dentist will remove any damage or decay from your tooth and prepare it for the crown during your first visit. After that, they will take an imprint of your teeth to submit to a lab for bespoke crown fabrication.

The dentist will temporarily crown your tooth in the meantime. You will return to the dentist a few weeks later to have the temporary crown taken out and a special dental glue used to put the permanent porcelain crown.

Metal Crowns

Metal crowns are dental restorations designed to cover an entire tooth from the gumline up. Unlike fillings, which only replace the part of a tooth damaged by decay or trauma, metal crowns provide full coverage protection and support for the tooth.

Metal crowns come from various materials, including gold, silver, and other alloys. The type of metal used depends on the dentist’s preference, the tooth’s location, and the patient’s budget. 

When are metal crowns used?

Metal crowns are usually employed when a filling or other kind of restoration is insufficient to restore a tooth’s strength and viability due to significant decay or trauma. Metal crowns are often used after root canal therapy or as a support structure for a dental bridge. They’re also occasionally used as a more durable and long-lasting alternative to composite fillings. 

What are the benefits of metal crowns?

There are several benefits to choosing metal crowns as a dental restoration. One of the most significant advantages is their durability and longevity. Metal crowns can last many years, even decades, with proper care and maintenance.

Metal crowns are also incredibly strong and can withstand the heavy chewing forces that other dental restorations, such as composite fillings, might be unable to handle. Additionally, metal crowns are relatively easy to place and can be completed in just one or two dental appointments. 

How are metal crowns installed?

Installing a crown made of metal is quite similar to installing other kinds of crowns. Your dentist will remove decay and damage before preparing the tooth. A dental laboratory will get an impression of the tooth for further examination. The laboratory will use this imprint to construct a crown that is unique to your tooth and a great fit. When the permanent crown is completed, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and cement the new metal crown in place.

Comparative Study: Porcelain vs. Metal Crowns

Now that we have a basic understanding of porcelain and metal crowns let’s take a closer look at their key differences.

Aesthetics: When it comes to aesthetics, porcelain crowns take the crown. Their color matches the natural shade of your teeth, making them a perfect choice for front teeth restorations. They match your teeth for a natural, stunning grin. On the other hand, metal crowns, with their metallic color, are more noticeable and might not be the best choice if you want a stealthy restoration.

Durability: While porcelain crowns win in the beauty department, metal crowns triumph when it comes to durability. Metal crowns are known for strength and can withstand biting and chewing forces better than porcelain. They typically last longer, often for many decades. Porcelain crowns, although sturdy, may not withstand heavy biting forces as well and could chip or crack over time.

Cost: Metal crowns generally have a lower initial price than porcelain crowns. However, considering the longevity and minimal chances of replacement, metal crowns could offer better long-term value. However, a bit pricier, porcelain crowns provide superior aesthetic results, which can boost your confidence and quality of life – something that’s hard to put a price tag on.

Biocompatibility: Biocompatibility is another important factor to consider. Some people may be allergic to the metals used in metal crowns. Porcelain crowns, being metal-free, pose no risk of allergic reactions, making them a safer bet for those with metal sensitivities. Both types, however, are generally well accepted by the body’s tissues.

Maintenance: Proper maintenance is key regardless of the type of crown you choose. Both porcelain and metal crowns require good oral hygiene practices – regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups. Neither type is immune to gum disease or decay at the crown margins, so don’t skimp on your dental care routine!


Choosing between porcelain and metal crowns is a decision that should be made considering your unique dental needs, aesthetic preferences, budget, and overall health. It’s important to remember that dentistry’s no one-size-fits-all solution, and what works for one person might not work for another. While porcelain crowns offer the advantage of natural-looking aesthetics, metal crowns are praised for their durability and strength. The cost can also affect your decision, as metal crowns are typically less expensive up front, but it’s worth considering the long-term value. 

Also, don’t forget about your overall health, especially if you have a known metal allergy. Always discuss these factors with your dentist during your consultation. These factors will determine the best option for you, and your dentist can help you make a responsible choice for your dental health.

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