Doctor showing different dental crown options

Weighing Your Options: Porcelain vs. Ceramic Dental Crowns

Ceramic and porcelain crowns are a high-quality aesthetic solution for a variety of dental issues. Both types of dental crowns are popular, but how can you decide which to choose? Your dentist can advise you on which type will best suit your situation. Yet, you ultimately make the decision between porcelain vs. ceramic dental crowns. Here are the pros and cons of each material.

Dental Crowns Porcelain Vs. Ceramic Infographic

Do you suspect you need dental crowns? Consult with our dentist at Alaska Dental Arts today!

When Do You Need a Crown?

A crown may be the best option in several situations. Dental crowns provide a protective cap for teeth that are broken, cracked, weak, or worn down. You might also get a crown to cover a tooth after a root canal. Crowns are sometimes used to keep a dental bridge in its proper position or to cover up dental implants. In some cases, crowns are used to restore your smile and hide a severely discolored or oddly shaped tooth.

What Is the Difference Between Porcelain vs. Ceramic Dental Crowns?

Porcelain is a special type of ceramic. Ceramic crowns can be made from other types of ceramic, and both porcelain and ceramic crowns can be fused to metal for an even more durable crown.

What to Consider When Choosing Crowns

There are many factors to consider when deciding on porcelain vs. ceramic dental crowns. Cost may certainly be a factor, but more importantly, you need the right crown for your unique situation. Some things to think about include the following:

  • Where the tooth is in your mouth
  • How the gum tissue fits around the tooth
  • How much of the tooth remains
  • Whether the tooth shows when you smile
  • What do you do with this tooth, such as biting or chewing
  • The color of adjacent teeth
  • How long it will last
  • What each type costs
  • Whether you have metal allergies

The best approach might be to learn about how these two types of crowns work in various situations. Then, talk to your dentist to find out what they recommend and why. At Alaska Dental Arts, we help our patients make informed decisions on their dental care.

Structural Integrity

Both ceramic and porcelain crowns keep your teeth structurally sound. When metal is fused to the material, it becomes even stronger and more durable.

Risk of Fractured or Chipped Crowns

Both porcelain and ceramic crowns can fracture, given a hard enough blow to your teeth. However, an all-ceramic tooth could fracture more easily if you participate in high-risk activities like contact sports. In this case, our dentist might recommend a porcelain crown for maximum protection. Porcelain crowns sometimes chip as well. It’s important to get prompt care if a dental crown breaks.

Natural Appearance

While many people get metal crowns for their back teeth, those small metal caps don’t look very attractive on your front teeth. All types of ceramic crowns look the most like your natural teeth. While porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can look quite attractive and natural, you might notice dark edges or see the metal showing through the porcelain.

Tooth Sensitivity

Anyone who has sensitive teeth may have pain when a tooth is exposed to hot or cold foods and beverages. Tooth sensitivity is an important factor to remember when choosing your dental crowns. All-ceramic crowns resist temperature changes so that you don’t feel the jolt of pain you would with a metal crown that conducts heat and cold freely.

Metal Allergies

Many people have to be careful about their dental work due to metal allergies. The symptoms of metal allergies can be distressing, including burning or tickling in your mouth, sudden hair loss, lesions on the skin, or bleeding gums. Getting all-ceramic crowns is often best if you have a known metal allergy.

Alternatively, you might do well with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns that don’t contain beryllium or nickel, the most common metal allergies.


The cost of porcelain vs. ceramic dental crowns is difficult to compare unless you have expert knowledge of dentistry in your local area. The cost will differ based on where you live and the condition and position of the tooth to be crowned. GoodRx says a porcelain crown costs $1,000 to $2,500, while porcelain-fused-to-metal usually costs between $800 and $2,400.

Another thing to remember about cost is that the cost of the crown itself is only a part of what you will likely pay. It usually takes one or two office visits and may involve significant prep work before this dental work is completed. And, if the crown will be used to cover an implant, you also need to consider the costs of placing the implant.

Expected Lifespan

Typically, ceramic or porcelain crowns last between five and fifteen years. However, if you are careful with them, they can last up to 30 years or even longer. Whether you choose ceramic or porcelain crowns, they can last you for many years.

How to Take Care of Dental Crowns

Both porcelain and ceramic dental crowns last longer and look better if you take good care of your mouth. Oral hygiene is more important than ever. Even though your crowns can’t decay, they can still gather plaque and bacteria that will put your other teeth and gums at risk.

Also, be careful about how you use your teeth. Biting your fingernails, chewing ice, and using your teeth to open packages can all damage your crowns. You might have a problem with grinding or clenching your teeth. However, this condition, called bruxism, can be treated. Our dentist can fit you with a night guard, for example. Putting an end to bruxism could help you avoid chipping or cracking your dental crowns.

The Importance of Custom Fitting

Whatever type of crown you choose, it’s critical that you have it placed by a highly-skilled dental professional. Getting the right fit makes your crown look and feel better and helps it last longer. In fact, success depends on a dentist who can skillfully perform the entire process, from preparing the tooth to placing the crown.

How Your Alaska Dental Arts Team Can Help

If you are in or near Anchorage or the North Pole Alaska, and are considering porcelain vs. ceramic dental crowns, Alaska Dental Arts is here to help. After x-rays and examination, we explain your options. We describe the pros and cons of porcelain fused to metal, all-ceramic, or gold crowns for your individual situation. Then, we encourage questions and make a recommendation based on what we’ve found and any situational factors you mention.

We carefully custom-fit your crown to ensure the best long-term outcome for your oral health. During the process, you can enjoy our upscale environment without the luxury price. To help you with costs, we start with highly competitive pricing, accept nearly all dental insurance, and offer our Dental Savings Plan designed to make quality dental care affordable.

Excellent dental care boosts your overall health, decreases or eliminates pain, and gives you a brighter, more beautiful smile. At Alaska Dental Arts, we are here to make good oral health happen. We are your ultimate smile restoration team!

Do you want to get your dental crowns from a highly skilled dentist? Schedule a consultation with Alaska Dental Arts!