Metal Crowns vs. Porcelain Crowns: Which One is Best


When it comes to dental restorations, crowns play an essential role in both aesthetics and functionality. They are necessary for repairing damaged teeth and restoring their integrity and functioning. Two popular types of crowns are metal crowns and porcelain crowns.

Each type has distinct indications based on diverse factors, including the specific needs and conditions of the patient’s teeth. When considering “metal crowns vs. porcelain crowns,” it’s vital to understand that they offer strength and durability, making them ideal for molars. 

In contrast, porcelain crowns provide a more natural appearance and are often preferred for front teeth. Let’s explore the critical aspects of metal crowns vs. porcelain crowns.

What is Metal Crown?

Metal crowns are dental restorations crafted from various metals, such as gold, platinum, and base metal alloys like nickel or chromium. Known for their outstanding strength and durability, metal crowns are ideal for molars and other teeth that experience chewing forces. They deliver long-lasting protection and functionality.

What Are Porcelain Crowns?

Porcelain crowns are made entirely of porcelain or a combination of porcelain and metal. They are popular because they can closely imitate the natural appearance of teeth. This makes them an excellent choice for visible areas like front teeth. This aesthetic appeal reassures individuals seeking dental restorations that their smile will remain natural and beautiful.

Metal Crowns vs. Porcelain Crowns – Which One Is Better?

Metal and porcelain crowns have unique features, making them appropriate for different dental needs. Let’s compare metal crowns vs. porcelain crowns so that you know which one to pick.

Based on the Type of Material

  • Metal Crowns: Made from base metal alloys such as nickel, chromium, and cobalt, as well as gold alloys, which combine gold, copper, and other metals.
  • Porcelain Crowns: Also called ceramic crowns, these are made from durable materials like zirconium oxide and lithium disilicate (Emax crowns).

Based on Strength

  • Metal Crowns: They are Incredibly durable and resistant to wear, making them ideal for molars and teeth that endure heavy chewing forces.
  • Porcelain Crowns: While durable, porcelain crowns are more prone to chipping and cracking than metal crowns, making them better suited for front teeth with minimal chewing forces.

Based on Appearance

  • Metal Crowns: They have a metallic appearance that is not aesthetically pleasing, making them less suitable for visible front teeth but ideal for posterior teeth that are less visible.
  • Porcelain Crowns: Crafted to mimic the natural color of teeth, providing a natural and aesthetically pleasing look suitable for both front and posterior teeth.

Based on Compatibility with Surrounding Tissues

  • Metal Crowns: Can cause allergic reactions in individuals with metal sensitivities, though this is less common.
  • Porcelain Crowns: More biocompatible, hypoallergenic, and a good option for patients with metal sensitivities.

Based on Tooth Preservation

  • Metal Crowns: Require more tooth preparation, with more tooth structure removed to ensure a proper fit and good strength, preserving less of the natural tooth.
  • Porcelain Crowns: Require less tooth preparation, allowing more accuracy in removing only the necessary dentin and enamel.

Based on Cost

  • Metal Crowns: Generally, less expensive due to the lower cost of materials and simpler manufacturing process.
  • Porcelain Crowns: These are more expensive because of the cost of materials and the detailed work required to match the natural tooth color.

How Are the Porcelain Crowns Beneficial Over Metal Crowns?

Although metal dental crowns have their benefits, they have some limitations. Porcelain crowns offer several advantages over metal crowns, particularly in terms of aesthetics and suitability-

  • Natural Appearance: Porcelain crowns are customized to closely match the color, transparency, and texture of your natural teeth, making them highly appealing.
  • Better Suitability: Porcelain is compatible with the body’s tissues, making it an ideal choice for individuals with metal allergies.
  • Tolerance to Galvanism: When different metals are used in dental restorations, galvanic reactions can occur, leading to discomfort in the opposing tooth. Porcelain crowns do not cause these reactions.
  • Long-Lasting: Modern porcelain crowns, like those made from zirconium, are durable and can last many years with proper care and maintenance.
  • Resistance to Corrosion: Unlike metal crowns, porcelain crowns do not undergo corrosion or tarnish, enhancing their longevity.
  • Gentle on Opposing Teeth: Porcelain is gentler on opposing teeth during biting and chewing than metal crowns, potentially reducing wear over time.
  • Enhanced Comfort: Porcelain crowns provide a comfortable fit and feel more natural in the mouth, contributing to better oral health.
  • Improved Self-Confidence: The natural look of porcelain crowns can boost self-confidence by providing a more aesthetically pleasing smile.
  • Biocompatibility: Porcelain crowns are highly biocompatible, reducing the risk of adverse reactions and promoting healthier gums around the crown.

What Are the Limitations of Porcelain Crown?

Although porcelain crowns weigh the pros in the race of metal vs. porcelain crowns, it has some limitations that make metal crowns a better option for many – 

  • Expensive – Porcelain crowns can be costly. This is due to the high cost of materials and manufacturing. 
  • Not Suitable for Every Case – In cases such as posterior bridges, where biting forces are more significant, metal crowns or porcelain fused to metal (PFM) are a better fit.


Both metal and porcelain crowns have their unique advantages and drawbacks. The best choice depends on individual needs, preferences, and dental conditions. Consulting with a tooth implant dentist can provide personalized advice and help you choose the crown type that best suits your oral health requirements and aesthetic needs.

Understanding metal crowns vs. porcelain crowns is the first step toward achieving a healthy and attractive smile.

Take the first step towards your perfect smile now!

Contact the experienced dentists at Anoka Dental today for Porcelain Crowns in Anoka, MN.

Call us at (763) 421-4002 to schedule your appointment.