Everything You Need to Know About Dental Crowns

A crown is a cover or “cap” your dentist can put over a tooth. The crown restores the tooth to its normal shape, size, and function. A crown can make the tooth stronger or improve the way it looks.  

Reasons you may need a crown:

  • You have had root canal treatment — the crown will protect the restored tooth
  • You have a cavity that is too large for a filling
  • You have a tooth that is cracked, worn down, or otherwise weakened
  • You are missing teeth where a bridge is needed
  • You want to cover a discolored or badly shaped tooth and improve your smile

Types of Dental Crowns

  • Metals used in crowns include gold, palladium, nickel, or chromium. Metal crowns last the longest in terms of wear down, and only require a small amount of tooth to be removed.
  • Stainless steel crowns are prefabricated crowns that are used on permanent teeth primarily as a temporary measure. The crown protects the tooth or filling while a permanent crown is made from another material. These are commonly used in children, used to protect a baby tooth from further decay. When the baby tooth comes out to make room for the permanent tooth, the crown comes out naturally with it. 
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be matched to the color of the teeth beside them. They look more natural than a metal crown. Although, a drawback is that the crown’s porcelain portion can chip or break off and it may wear down the tooth opposite to it.
  • All-resin dental crowns are a less expensive alternative. However, they wear down over time and are more likely to break.
  • All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide the best natural color match than any other crown type. They are also a good choice for people with metal allergies. However, they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. 
  • Pressed ceramic crowns have a hard inner core. They replace the metal liner that is used in the all-ceramic crown-making process. Pressed ceramic crowns are capped with porcelain, which provides the best natural color match. They are also more long-lasting than an all-porcelain crown.
  • ¾ crowns and onlays are crowns that cover less of the underlying tooth than the traditional crown. 


The typical cost of most dental crowns can vary anywhere from $1,000 to $3,500. If a dental crown is not covered by an insurance policy—or if a patient doesn’t have insurance—third-party financing companies can be utilized to create a payment installment plan.