What kind of crown is best for the back teeth?

If looks aren't a factor, then an all metal crown is probably the best choice. The metal crown is cast as one piece at the dental lab so there are no layers to it that can chip or fracture. All metal crowns are usually gold colored but there are some high noble alloys that are silver colored as well.

If looks are a factor then a Porcelain to Metal Crown or a Zirconia Crown may be used. For a Porcelain to Metal Crown, there is a metal understructure which is usually a silver/gray color (but sometimes can be gold colored) and the tooth colored porcelain is layered on top of the metal.

A Zirconia Crown is tooth colored. Sometimes the Zirconia is used alone and sometimes it is used as a base with additional tooth colored porcelain layered over it.
This answer will differ depending on who you ask. Certainly manufacturers are marketing to dentists that their crown materials and brands are the best.

Some crown types have lasted the test of time such as Porcelain fused to Metal Crown (PFM). There are other types of crowns that are constructed without any metal which is a benefit to esthetics and patients who do not want metal in their mouths.

It also depends on other factors, what are the forces on the crown, what is opposing the crown (dissimilar materials wear differently to each other and may cause damage to the opposing tooth) the demands of the case and what the dentist has become comfortable using.

There are all ceramic crowns that provide many advantages; less tooth preparation, no-metal showing. These crowns may also have a premium price, which is a factor in determining a crown choice.

The list of different types of crowns is long and varied. You will need to have some trust in the dentist to determine which is the best crown for you while also learning about various crowns and asking informed questions.
There are two types of crowns that I recommend for back teeth (called molars). The most commonly used is the porcelain fused to metal crown (a PFM). The second kind of crown is the full gold crown. A well-done full gold crown is probably the best type of crown there is, but some patients object to it because it is not esthetically pleasing to the eye. I do not recommend all porcelain crowns for back teeth because they can fracture over time.
Dental research has been looking for the strongest material and that looks the best. All metal crowns have traditionally been the strongest, but today most people want a more cosmetic alternative. Porcelain to metal or all ceramic crowns offer high strength with better cosmetics -- a crown that matches the color of the other teeth.
Dental crowns that are all metal may be stronger than ceramic crowns in the back of the mouth. All-metal crowns may be unacceptable to some patients; porcelain/metal crowns and ceramic crowns are aesthetically more acceptable having the same color as the natural teeth.

Continue Learning about Dental Crown

What costs more, veneers or crowns?
Thomas Connelly, Online InfluencerThomas Connelly, Online Influencer
They are actually fairly similar in time spent, so the price is going to be pretty close. I will say...
More Answers
Why would a child need a dental crown?
Heath A. Cobb, MDHeath A. Cobb, MD
A dentist may decide to put a stainless steel crown on your child's tooth if the tooth is broken or ...
More Answers
Can I get a dental crown if I am pregnant?
Ideally, if you are pregnant, you should try to wait until after your baby is born before having...
More Answers
Are dental crowns strong enough to chew food?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Dental crowns actually are often used to strengthen teeth and are strong enough to chew food. A crow...
More Answers

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.