Crowns on teeth will look different depending on which tooth it is fitted over and also the type of material that it is made of. We’ll be providing a lot of images as well as videos to give you an idea of what to expect for a tooth crown.
Front tooth vs Back tooth crowns
Crowns for the front teeth look different than the ones for the back teeth. The most notable difference in their appearance has to do with the shape that anterior teeth have vs the shape that the posterior teeth have.
Below is a video demonstrating the visual difference between an anterior tooth cap and a posterior molar tooth cap.
Front tooth cap
What separates the anterior crowns from the posterior ones is their shape. These caps are placed on anterior teeth which are the central incisors, lateral incisors, and canines.
The photo below shows crowns on the central incisors and lateral incisors.
- Look like central incisors, lateral incisors, and canines.
- Typically smaller in size than the posterior teeth
Crowns for the front teeth can be made of the full range of dental crown materials but all ceramic or all porcelain is the most popular.
Back tooth cap
The main distinction between posterior crowns and the anterior ones is also their shape. The caps for these teeth are placed only on the back teeth which includes the premolars and molars.
- Look like premolars and molar teeth.
- Often much larger in size than the anterior teeth
Types of crown materials
Crowns for teeth can be made of different types of material and they all look different when placed on teeth. It’s namely the material that gives them their distinct differences.
- Ceramic (feldspathic porcelain, zirconia, emax, etc)
- Porcelain fused to metal (PFM)
Below is a video overview comparing the differences between the four types of dental crown materials and what they look like on teeth.
All ceramic crowns are made of all porcelain meaning that it has no metal in it. The entire tooth cap will be tooth colored. These are the most preferred type of crowns since they look the most natural and blend in with the rest of the dentition seamlessly.
Below are photos of what an emax crown which is a type of ceramic crown looks like.
We also have a video of what a zirconia crown looks like. This is yet another type of ceramic.
Porcelain fused to metal (PFM)
Porcelain fused to metal crowns or PFM for short, are tooth caps that are made of both procelain and metal. It has a metal underlying substructure but the exterior is wrapped over with porcelain for aesthetics.
The main distinctive factor for how PFM crowns look like is the metal underneath of the porcelain. Aside from that, the tooth shape would be the same as any other type of material.
A gold tooth cap is a crown that is made of the precious metal called yellow gold. Most people don’t want a gold crown but it is a popular option for some people that want grillz.
The above are images of a front tooth crown that is made of yellow gold.
A metal tooth cap is also a crown except it is made of pure metal instead of porcelain. Gold crowns are technically considered a metal crown but is given its own distinction since it is a precious metal. Typically when we refer to metal crowns, we’re talking about base metal that is non-precious.
In case those photos above weren’t enough, we also have a video of what it looks like.
Dental implant crowns look similar to regular tooth caps except they are placed on an implant which is a titanium screw. The major difference in appearance is the metal hardware that is involved. Regular crowns cover natural tooth structure while this one covers a titanium abutment.
- Crown that is fitted over a titanium implant.
- May have an access opening which is a hole over the top of the tooth where it gets screwed in.
In case you wanted a different view, here is a video of what an implant crown it looks like.
Crown vs Veneer
Crowns are most often compared to veneers so it would be helpful for you to know the visual differences between these two restorations.
The main difference between the two is that a veneer covers 180 degrees of the tooth while a crown covers the tooth 360 degrees. You can think of the veneer as a partial crown.
In summary, crowns on teeth will look different depending on which tooth they are for and also what material it is made of.
- The shape of the caps will be determined by the tooth type such as a front tooth vs a back one.
- The color of the caps are determined by the type of material that the crown is made from.
You put these two details together and you get a recipe for what tooth caps look like! Hopefully our visual guide was helpful in giving you a whole new perspective on the appearance of these restorations.