Dental Crowns – Dr Tan Swee Ling

It is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a natural tooth — to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. Basically, it is like giving a tooth a face-lift.

When & why a crown is needed?

  1. To protect and support a weak tooth with minimal sound tooth structure (eg. Decay, severely worn down)
  2. To restore broken or cracked tooth
  3. To hide severely discoloured tooth
  4. For aesthetic modification of poorly shaped tooth
  5. To cover a dental implant
  6. Joined together as a dental bridge to replace missing tooth

Types of Crowns?


Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns can be colour matched to your adjacent teeth. These crowns can be a good choice for back teeth as well as long bridges where the metal is needed for strength. However, the crown’s porcelain portion can also chip or break off. Sometimes the metal underlying the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark line, especially at the gum line and even more so if your gums recede.

Porcelain-fused-metal Crown in different angles
Multiple PFM Crowns [ Front & Back View ]
PFM Dental Bridge [ Top & Bottom View ]


This material provides better natural colour match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. All-ceramic crowns can be used for front and back teeth.

Ceramic crown [ Top & Bottom View ]


Metal crowns withstand biting and chewing forces well and probably last the longest in terms of wear down. Also, metal crowns rarely chip or break. The metallic colour is the main drawback. Metal crowns are a good choice for out-of-sight molars.

I hope this little information about types of materials commonly used for fabricating crowns will be useful for you if you are in a dilemma which material to go for.

That’s all for now, I shall more in my next post. Till then, take care and have a great weekend ahead!

Dr Tan SL

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