What are crowns made of?

Crowns are made of a variety of materials and new materials are being introduced all the time. Here are some of the options available at present:

  • Porcelain bonded to precious metal: this is what most crowns are made from. A precious metal base is made and layers of porcelain are then applied over it
  • Porcelain: these crowns are not as strong as bonded crowns but they can look very natural and are most often used for front teeth
  • Zirconia : this is a very strong tooth coloured material that is frequently used for metal free restorations. To improve aesthetics, especially in front teeth, an additional layer of porcelain is frequently added to the surface.
  • Precious metal (gold and palladium): these crowns are very strong and hard-wearing, but are not usually used at the front of the mouth, where they are highly visible. Due to the poor aesthetics and the availability of zirconia, it is rare that dentists resort to all metal restorations.