Dental crowns can be made from a number of different materials. Some are made from a metal called amalgam, which contains a blend of mercury and other metals. Others are made from composite resin, which is a plastic-like material. Still, others are made from porcelain, a sort of ceramic glass. Porcelain crowns tend to be the most expensive, but that does not mean they are not worth the cost. In fact, porcelain crowns have a number of benefits that make them well worth their higher price tag.
Porcelain crowns can be colored to match your teeth
Especially if the crown will be placed on a tooth that's visible when you smile, you don't want it to be obvious. Porcelain can be colored specifically to match your teeth. In other words, your dentist will assess what color your teeth are and will have your crown made in that exact shade. Once the crown is in place, nobody will know, by looking at you, that you have a crown. It will look just like one of your natural teeth.
Porcelain crowns don't stain
Composite crowns can also be made to match your teeth, but they have a shortcoming: they stain. Over the years, as you drink coffee, red wine, and other dark-colored liquids, the crown will become duller and darker in color. This does not happen with porcelain. It is impervious to stains, so you can eat or drink whatever you please. (You'll want to avoid overly sticky things like taffy, but this is mostly to prevent you from pulling the crown off your tooth.)
Porcelain crowns reduce sensitivity
Many people with damaged teeth that require crowns find that their teeth become sensitive to hot and cold. A metal crown won't necessarily change that since metal conducts heat so well. A porcelain crown, on the other hand, can protect against this sensitivity. With a porcelain crown, you should be able to go on drinking and eating hot and cold items without pain. This can be a major relief if you've been struggling with sensitivity due to decay or tooth infection for a while.
Dental crowns can be really good for protecting your tooth from additional damage. If you need a crown, talk to your dentist about your options. There is a good chance they'll recommend a porcelain crown if you can afford one. It's worth paying a little more for the benefits listed above.