A crown is an artificial restoration that fits entirely over a prepared tooth, restoring it back to the shape of a natural tooth. A Crown is also referred to as a cap.
Crowns can be placed for a number of reasons including improving the appearance of a discoloured tooth, to provide longevity to a tooth following root canal treatment and to restore or protect a tooth with a large restoration from further breakdown
The dentist will make a crown by removing approximately 1- 2mm from the whole outer surface of a tooth to leave an inner core. The amount of tooth removed will be similar to the thickness of the new crown. Once the tooth is prepared to the correct size, the dentist takes impressions (moulds) of the tooth and sends these to a dental laboratory where the fabrication of the crown will take place. A temporary crown is placed during the period in which the dentist awaits the return of the permanent crown from the laboratory. When you and the dentist are happy with the fit and appearance of the crown, the dentist will use a dental cement to ensure the crown is fixed into position.
Types of Crowns:
Porcelain bonded to metal:
–This is the most common crown and consists of an inner metal sub-frame with porcelain layered over the top.
Metal Alloy and Gold Crowns:
–These crowns are used for their strength and consist of a very hard-wearing material. They are silver or gold in colour and are mostly used for the restoration of back teeth.
–The crown is made entirely out of porcelain; It is not as strong as a bonded crown, but they can look very natural and often used for front teeth
–This is a very modern material and a metal free crown. Ceramic crowns have the strength of a bonded crown and the aesthetics of a porcelain crown.