Pros And Cons Of Non-Porcelain Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a durable alternative to dental fillings and the final step in a root canal procedure. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials. Porcelain crowns are valued for their natural look, but porcelain also isn't particularly durable so your cosmetic dentistry specialist might recommend one of the alternative materials, each of which has its own pros and cons.

What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of the non-porcelain dental crown materials? 


Metal crowns come in three subgroupings: gold, stainless steel, and metal alloy. The former two materials are more expensive but also sturdier than the latter. None of the choices will give you the natural tooth look of porcelain, but durability is sometimes valued over cosmetics particularly when working with a rear tooth that takes on a lot of bite force.

Stainless steel crowns are typically only used on the baby teeth of children. That's because the child will only need the crown until the tooth falls out so a material that is both strong and harder to tightly fit around the tooth is fine for that scenario.

Metal alloys are the most common metal crown used on adults due to the lower cost and still relatively high durability. Gold crowns are often requested by patients for the cosmetic look alone.


Resin is even less durable than porcelain, so why would a dentist use this material for a crown? The decision comes mainly down to cost. If budget is a huge factor in your ability to get a crown, your dentist can place a resin crown with the warning that the resin might crack or break, especially if used on a tooth with a lot of bite force.

There is a possibility that the dentist can place the resin crown as a short-term solution to an immediate problem, such as a new tooth crack, with the intention of placing a more durable crown in the future. 


Ceramic crowns have a similar natural look to porcelain crowns but are thinner, which does make the ceramic vulnerable to cracking or chipping. Ceramic and porcelain crowns are so similar overall the materials are often mentioned in the same category.

But the thinness of the ceramic crowns makes that material a better choice if it's important not to add bulk to the tooth.  For example, if you need a crown on a tooth that is already oversized, your dentist might recommend a ceramic crown. The ceramic crowns are also good for the two front teeth, which are thinner in width than most of the other teeth.