Metal-based and steel crowns are often referred to as silver tooth crowns, which are metal crowns designed to cap teeth that are damaged, suffering from decay or in need of protection after a dental procedure (such as a root canal treatment).

What are silver tooth crowns?

Silver tooth crowns are a type of crown or cap that is used to cover and protect a damaged tooth from decay, infection and general damage to the tooth. Silver tooth crowns are typically made from amalgam, which is composed of mercury, tin, silver and copper. 

Silver tooth crowns operate in the same way as any other metal-based, gold or porcelain crowns. However, there are some advantages to silver and metal-based crowns that are not found in porcelain or resin crowns.

Is mercury used in silver tooth crowns?


Mercury is used in amalgam fillings and is not commonly used in silver tooth crowns.

Mercury is typically used in silver fillings because it’s very versatile and is able to easily fill any gaps, cracks or holes within the affected tooth. Mercury is mixed with alloy powder so that it’s able to be gently pressed into the tooth. The placed mercury will harden very quickly, so the procedure is fast.

Silver tooth crowns, by comparison, may appear silver but are actually made from stainless steel and are composed of chromium, nickel and iron. 

The silver tooth crown process

All tooth crown prosecutors follow the same process, the only difference is the type of crown being applied to the affected tooth. However, depending on what your dentist has suggested, you will be booked info for a same-day or multi-day procedure. 

For same-day procedures

Your dentist will take digital pictures of your mouth to assess what work needs to be done to the affected tooth or teeth. From the scan, your dentist will create a crown then and there, creating a crown that fits over the damaged part of your tooth. Once the crown is ready, dental cement will be applied to the affected tooth to hold the new, silver implant in place. You can expect to be in and out of the clinic within 2 – 4 hours.

For multi-day procedures

Multi-day procedures, as the name suggests, requires you to come back for further treatments. On your first visit, your dentist prepares your tooth for crown placement. They may also take an X-ray for a more in-depth look at the condition of your tooth. Next, your dentist will file down the outer layer of your tooth and an impression will be taken of your newly trimmed tooth and your surrounding teeth.

A temporary crown is then placed over your tooth until your permanent crown is ready for placement. This could take up to four weeks depending on your dentist’s schedule. 

On your second visit, your dentist will apply your new, permanent crown.

The main advantages of silver tooth crowns


Silver tooth crowns benefit from being extremely durable and are able to withstand large amounts of pressure from biting. As with any other metal-based crown, silver tooth crowns are more durable than porcelain or resin, and they will also last longer, making them a more cost-effective option. 

The disadvantages of silver tooth crowns

The main disadvantage of silver tooth crowns is that they are very obvious if placed near the front of the mouth. Silver and metal crowns are typically placed on molars because they are further back and are less likely to be immediately visible. 

Do you require a silver or metal-based crown?

If you require a tooth crown due to a damaged or decayed tooth, you can arrange a consultation with our team at Hove Dental Clinic. We will be able to quickly assess the condition of your teeth and mouth and provide an appropriate treatment solution to ensure your oral health remains in top condition. 

To book your appointment, call the number above or complete our contact form.


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