The first dental crowns were made by Etruscans and consisted of artificial teeth held together by bands made of gold. The Etruscans used either human or animal teeth to form their crowns, which were soldered together using a heat source. Before the age of modern dentistry, other societies created crowns using human and animal teeth anchored by metal or wooden posts. Porcelain crowns were developed in the mid-1800s.
The early part of the 20th century marked the beginning of better-fitting crowns for dental patients. During this time, dental crown makers used a wax casting method to make molds. Artificial teeth were formed by pouring hot material into the mold and letting it cool. Crowns produced by this method were made of gold or porcelain. In the 1960s, crowns were mostly made by fusing porcelain with metal.
Modern dental crowns are still made using porcelain and metal, but patients can get crowns made entirely of resin or ceramic as alternative options. Metals commonly used to make crowns include gold alloy, palladium, chromium and nickel. Stainless steel is mainly used to make temporary crowns. The most natural-looking crowns are made entirely from ceramic or porcelain materials and offer a safe option for people with metal allergies. However, these crowns are less durable than crowns made from porcelain fused to metal.