Comparing Dental Crown Options For A Back Molar

If you need a tooth crown on a back molar, you don't have to worry as much about the appearance of your tooth like you would with a crown in the front. Since the molar is in the back, the crown won't be visible when you smile. So, instead of being concerned about picking a material based on how well it blends in with your other teeth, you can choose a material that holds up well to grinding and chewing. Here's a look at how dental crown materials differ.


Crowns made of resin can be made to closely match the color of your other teeth. Resin doesn't reflect light as well as some other materials, so while it doesn't look exactly like natural enamel, it shouldn't matter since the crown is out of sight. The big advantage of a resin crown is that it is an affordable option when compared to other materials. The disadvantage is that resin is the most likely to crack or chip, so there is a risk of having to replace the crown sooner than you would with a crown made of porcelain or metal.


Metal crowns are excellent for molars because they are strong and durable. They have a long lifespan, and they don't wear down nearby teeth. Metal may not be a suitable choice if you have a metal allergy though. Another thing to consider is that the crown could be visible when you laugh or open your mouth very wide. If the color bothers you, you can opt for a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. This is a metal crown with a top layer of porcelain that gives the tooth a more natural appearance. The drawback is that the porcelain portion of the tooth is at a greater risk of chipping and cracking than the metal part.

Ceramic And Porcelain

Crowns made of porcelain or ceramic look the most like natural teeth. The color can be adjusted to match your other teeth, and the surface is glossy and reflective, just like natural enamel. These crown materials are more commonly used on front teeth when appearance is important, but you can put a porcelain or ceramic crown on a molar too. Both these materials are stronger than resin but not as strong as metal.

Stainless Steel

When you get a dental crown, it is a two step process. The first step involves getting a temporary crown to wear while your permanent crown is made. The temporary crown may be made from stainless steel when it is placed on a back tooth. Stainless steel crowns are inexpensive, so they are ideal for temporary use. They are not generally used for permanent crowns.

No matter what type of dental crown you get, you should take good care of it so it lasts as long as possible. Anything that can damage your natural enamel could damage a crown. Therefore, you should probably avoid crunching on hard foods or ice, and continue to practice good oral hygiene so the tooth under the crown stays healthy.