Dental crowns are fantastic restorations that can protect a damaged tooth and bring back your dazzling smile. But have you ever wondered how exactly those crowns stay securely in place? The answer lies in a powerful, yet often misunderstood, material: dental glue, or more accurately, dental cement.

This guide dives deep into the world of dental cement, explaining what it is, how dentists use it for dental crowns, and why it’s crucial to leave the application to the professionals. 

We’ll also explore the benefits of dental cement. So, if you’ve ever been curious about the magic behind a secure crown, keep reading!

If you have any problem with your dental crowns and you need help, schedule an appointment with your dentists at Enhance Dental Centre.

What Is Dental Glue for Crowns?

What Is Dental Glue for Crowns?

First, it’s important to clarify that dental “glue” for crowns isn’t actually glue in the traditional sense. Dental professionals use a special material called dental cement to secure crowns to the underlying tooth.

Here’s a breakdown of what dental cement is and its role with crowns:

Material: Dental cement is a strong bonding agent specifically formulated for use in the mouth. It comes in various types, each with its own properties for different dental applications.

Function: For crowns, dental cement acts like a powerful adhesive. It securely bonds the crown to the prepared tooth structure, creating a tight seal that prevents leakage, bacteria buildup, and potential issues like sensitivity.

Types: There are temporary and permanent dental cements. Temporary cement might be used for initial placement or while a permanent crown is being created. Permanent cement provides a long-lasting bond for the final crown restoration.

6 Types of Dental Cement

6 Types of Dental Cement

There are six primary types of dental cements: Zinc Phosphate Cement, Polycarboxylate Cement, Glass Ionomer Luting Cement, Polyacid-Modified Composite Cement, Resin-Modified Glass Ionomer Cement, and Resin-Based Cement, with a new secondary category called Bioceramic Luting Cement. Each type has its own uses and characteristics.

1- Zinc Phosphate Cement

As implied by the name, two elements of the periodic table make up this type of dental cement: zinc (Zn), a metal, and phosphate (PO4), a mixture of two non-metals, phosphorus (P) and oxygen (O). It has been used for a century in the field of dentistry. 

It is radiopaque and reasonably priced. It is simple to combine and clean up. Because of its extremely low pH, it attaches to the tooth structure very loosely. It is irritable and is temperature-sensitive.

It is used for routine luting of metal-supported crowns and bridges, as a basin material and temporary restorations of the oral cavity.

2- Glass Ionomer Luting Cement

This dental cement is highly desirable due to its high fluoride release and strong adhesion properties. It is acidic and used for cavities abrasion and erosion, deciduous tooth restoration, class III and V carious lesions restoration, and tunnel restorations. Its applications include restoring teeth and repairing carious lesions.

3- Polycarboxylate Cement

Another name for it is “zinc poly-acrylate cement.” When this kind of dental cement is used frequently, it can cause pulpitis. It binds strongly to the oral cavity’s tooth structure.

It is used to make luting materials for crowns, bridges, inlays, orthodontic appliances, root canal fillings, pulp capping, and filling materials as well as to protect the cavity liners.

4- Polyacid Modified Composite Cement

This material has high bond strengths to the oral cavity but low solubility in oral fluids, and loses its strength over time due to hygroscopic expansion. It is primarily used in children’s dentistry.

5- Resin Based Cement

This dental curing light-based material builds high bond strength to tooth structure, with low-strength dental ceramics, and is not radiopaque, primarily used in restorative dentistry.

6- Resin Modified Glass Ionomer Cement

This cement is easy to mix and clean, releases fluorides over time, and is hydrophilic, making it resistant to moisture. It is used for Class I, II, III, and V restorations in primary teeth, and is easy to clean up.

7- Bioceramic Luting Cement

It is basically a water-based competition of calcium aluminate (CaAlO3) and glass ionomer components. It is rapidly gaining traction in various dental applications, including endodontics, implant dentistry, and orthodontics.

Types of Dental Cements for Crowns

Types of Dental Cements for Crowns

There are actually no dental “glues” available for patients to use at home. Dental professionals use special dental cements, not glue, to secure crowns. These cements are specifically formulated to be strong, biocompatible, and durable in the harsh environment of your mouth. Here are the different types of dental cements used for crowns:

Permanent Dental Cements

Zinc Phosphate Cement

This is the oldest and most traditional type of permanent dental cement. It’s known for its reliability and affordability. However, it’s not aesthetically pleasing due to its opaque color and can irritate gums if not applied carefully.

Resin Cements

These are becoming increasingly popular due to their strong bond, aesthetics (tooth-colored), and versatility. Resin cements come in various types, including self-adhesive and light-cured options.

Glass Ionomer Cement

This type of cement offers the benefit of fluoride release, which can help strengthen tooth enamel and prevent cavities around the crown. However, it might not be as strong as other permanent cements.

Resin-Modified Glass Ionomer (RMGI) Cement

This combines the benefits of both resin and glass ionomer cements. It offers good strength, aesthetics, and some fluoride release.

Temporary Dental Cement

Zinc Oxide-Eugenol (ZOE) Cement

This is a temporary cement commonly used for initial crown placement or when a permanent crown is being fabricated. It offers some pain relief due to the eugenol component but isn’t strong enough for long-term use.

The best type of dental cement for your crown will depend on several factors, such as the type of crown, the strength needed, and any cosmetic considerations. Your dentist will discuss the best option for your specific situation.

Uses of Dental Cement for Crowns

The primary use of dental cement for crowns is to securely bond the crown to the prepared tooth surface. This creates a strong and long-lasting restoration that can withstand the forces of chewing and biting. Here’s a breakdown of how dental cement achieves this:

  • Creates a Strong Bond: Dental cement acts like a powerful adhesive specifically formulated for teeth. It forms a tight connection between the crown and the tooth structure, preventing the crown from becoming loose or falling out.
  • Seals the Tooth: By filling the space between the crown and the tooth, dental cement helps prevent bacteria and food debris from accumulating around the margins. This reduces the risk of tooth decay and gum disease around the crowned tooth.
  • Provides Stability: A secure crown prevents excessive movement of the tooth, which can cause discomfort and potential damage to the surrounding bone.
  • Durability: Dental cements are designed to last for many years, depending on the specific type used.
  • Biocompatibility: The materials used in dental cements are safe for use in your mouth and shouldn’t irritate gums or teeth.
  • Some Options Offer Aesthetics: Certain types of dental cement, like resin cements, can be tooth-colored, improving the overall cosmetic appearance of the restoration.


Dental cement isn’t quite glue, but it’s the essential “magic” that keeps your crown securely in place. This guide has explored the different types of dental cements, their uses, and why they’re crucial for a successful crown restoration. Remember, if your crown feels loose, don’t panic! Schedule an appointment with your dentist for proper repair using the right dental cement. With professional care and regular checkups, your crowned smile can stay healthy and beautiful for years to come.


1- Can I glue my own crown back on?

NO! Gluing your own crown back on can lead to improper fit, increased risk of decay and gum disease, damage to the crown or tooth, and further complications.

2- How long does dental crown glue last?

A cemented dental crown is a permanent fixation for oral functionality and aesthetics, lasting over 15 years with dental cement. It takes 24 hours for the crown to harden completely after being properly cemented.

3- How long can I go without a crown after it falls off?

A tooth can survive for a few weeks without a crown, but it’s not necessary to wait long to correct a fallen out crown.