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What are replacement teeth made of?

The dental implant itself is only one part of the tooth restoration process. Once your implant or implants are placed, the final step is to attach a dental prosthetic (replacement tooth) to the implant—this is what gives you the look and feel of a naturally growing tooth. So what types of replacement teeth are most often used? Dental crowns, dental bridges and dentures.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are tooth-shaped coverings that are used to restore functionality and improve appearance. They most often used to repair teeth that are badly damaged or decayed.

There are three different types of dental crowns available to patients: metal, all-ceramic and porcelain-fused-to-metal. Each can be ideal depending on the patient’s individual needs and goals.

Metal Crowns: Durable and strong, metal crowns are ideal for providing support to the back teeth for biting and chewing.

All-Ceramic Crowns: Made of a translucent material, all-ceramic crowns match the color of natural tooth enamel. Their natural look makes them an excellent choice for treating front teeth.

Porcelain Crowns: Because they are fused to metal, porcelain crowns are stronger than all-ceramic crowns. In addition, they are more cosmetically appealing than metal crowns.

All three types of crowns can be used to anchor dental implants.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges are another treatment option for replacing missing teeth. They are utilized mainly to fill larger gaps left by missing teeth. Dental bridges are comprised of two components—dental crowns and replacement teeth. The replacement tooth is placed in the gap and is supported by dental crowns on either side. The crowns rely on support either from surrounding teeth or the dental bridge itself. Replacement teeth are made of either porcelain or ceramic—the material used will depend on the patients’ needs and the location of the missing tooth.


Dentures, also known as false teeth, are dental prosthetics that are designed to replace a full arch or a full set of missing teeth. Dentures are most commonly made of acrylic, but earlier dentures were made of porcelain. Removable dentures are known to cause aggravation and embarrassment because they continually shift in the mouth when wearers speak or eat. Now, dental implants can be used to secure dentures for a stable, natural smile.

In all cases of replacement teeth, your dentist will strive to provide the most effective and natural-looking dental implant restoration possible.