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. Sometimes known as a ‘cap’.
Crowns are an ideal restoration for broken teeth, or teeth weakened by decay or a very large filling. They can also be used to improve the appearance of a discoloured filling, or to protect a tooth with a root filling. It may also help to hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
Crowns can be made of porcelain, gold or a combination of these materials.
A layer of the outer surface is removed, leaving a strong inner core. The amount of the tooth removed is generally the same thickness as the crown. Once the tooth is shaped, an impression of the prepared tooth is taken. The impression is used to create the crown, then fixed in place with dental cement or adhesive. This forms a seal to hold it in place.
The crown is made to match the rest of your teeth as closely as possible. The shade will be matched to the shade of the surrounding teeth. The shape of the crown may be slightly different from the shape of your tooth previously, so you may be aware of it at first. Within a few days, you will not notice it.
It is important to keep your crown as clean as you would your natural teeth. The crown cannot decay but decay can start at it’s edge where it joins your natural tooth. Brush last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, and carry out regular flossing. How long it lasts depends on how well you look after it.