A crown is a form of restoration which is fitted over the top of an existing tooth to make it stronger and more robust. They can help to enhance the aesthetics of the smile, by giving worn and damaged teeth a smooth shape and healthy appearance. Crowns are sometimes known as caps because they sit over the top of natural teeth.
Why would I need a crown?
You may need a crown if you have a broken, damaged or decayed tooth, have a metal filling which you would like to replace or you have had root canal treatment. Crowns help to make teeth stronger and reduce the risk of further damage or infection. They can also make the smile look more attractive.
What does the procedure involve?
Before a crown is fitted it is necessary to prepare the tooth. This is done using an instrument called a burr and involves removing decayed tissue. Once the tooth has been prepared and cleaned, a mould will be created to serve as an imprint for the new crown. Once the new crown has been manufactured, it will be placed over the top of the tooth and cemented into position.
What are crowns made from?
Crowns can be made from various materials including precious metals (such as gold), porcelain and ceramic material, or they can be from a combination of metal and ceramic material. Porcelain and all-ceramic crowns are the most popular option, because they blend in with the natural colour of the teeth and have an attractive translucency.
How long will a crown last?
Crowns should last for several years provided that you look after your teeth and gums. You should care for your crown in exactly the same way as a natural tooth, which will help to preserve the teeth and prevent infection at the site of the crown.