A tooth crown or dental crown, also known as caps, is a tooth-shaped sleeve made of porcelain or metal or a combination of both that is placed over a tooth. The dentist will match it up to the shape and colour of your other teeth. These may be recommended to cover a tooth to restore its shape and size, strength and to improve its appearance.
The main reasons for restoring teeth with crowns are:
- To strengthen a badly broken down or weakened tooth, such as root canal treated teeth
- Worn or fractured teeth can be restored to their original contour.
- Spaces can be filled, and a more regular appearance restored or created.
- To improve the appearance of a badly broken down or heavily filled tooth,
- Highly discoloured and stained teeth can be improved,
- Poorly positioned teeth can be built forward.
- To support the end/s of a bridge which is replacing other missing teeth.
There are 3 types of materials used for dental crowns:
- All-ceramic or all-porcelain dental crowns provide better natural colour match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies. All-ceramic crowns can be used for front and back teeth.
- Porcelain fused to metal A hybrid construction type where a porcelain covering encases a metal substructure. These crowns can provide both good aesthetics and strength as well as provide a good seal to prevent leakage and decrease recurrent dental decay. Next to all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. These crowns can be a desirable choice for front or back teeth as well as long bridges where the metal is needed for strength. The underlying metal fused with the porcelain provides stability and strength to the crown. They have a very high rate of success in the long run.
- Gold and metal alloys are made using gold or "white" (silver-coloured) dental alloy to provide a durable material to adhere to the tooth structure. Gold alloy is resistant to wear and fracture and does not wear away the teeth it comes in contact with. This material is highly bio-compatible with the gum tissue. Metal base contain non-noble metals which provide great strength to the crown and tooth and provide high resistance to corrosion. This material is resistant to wear and gentle to opposing teeth.