What is a crown?
A crown is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, making it strong and giving it the shape of a natural tooth. A crown is sometimes known as a ‘cap’.
Why would I need a crown?
Crowns are an ideal restoration for teeth that have been broken, or have been weakened by decay or a very large filling. A crown could be used for a number of other reasons, for instance:
- You may have discoloured fillings and would like to improve the appearance of the tooth
- You may have had a root filling which will need a crown to protect what is left of the tooth.
- It may help hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
What is a crown made of?
Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials and new materials are continually being introduced. Some of the most popular options are listed below.
- Porcelain bonded to precious metal: this is what most crowns are made from. A precious metal base is made and then porcelain is applied in layers over it.
- Porcelain crowns: these crowns are made entirely out of porcelain and are not as strong as bonded crowns, but they can look very natural and are most often used for front teeth.
- All-ceramic crowns: this modern technique offers a metal-free alternative, which can give the strength of a bonded crown and the appearance of a porcelain crown. Therefore it is suitable for use in all areas of the mouth.
- Glass: these crowns look very natural and are used on both front and back teeth.
- Gold alloy crowns: gold is one of the oldest filling materials. Today it is used with other metal alloys to increase its strength, which makes it a very hard-wearing restoration. These crowns are silver or gold in colour.