A crown is an artificial tooth that fits over an existing tooth to restore its appearance. They are sometimes referred to as ‘caps’.
Crowns offer a solution for improving the appearance and strengthening heavily restored teeth. They are an ideal treatment for repairing teeth that have broken, have been weakened by decay or large fillings. They are also used to support a bridge or denture for missing teeth.
The existing tooth first needs to be prepared to accommodate the crown. It is usually drilled down to create a ‘peg’ which leaves the strong inner core of the tooth and the crown will sit over the top.
In root-filled teeth it may be necessary to insert a post into the tooth root before placing a crown. A post gives support and helps the crown to stay in place.
Following preparation of the tooth, impressions are taken and a laboratory made crown is fitted 10 to 14 days later. Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials and new materials are continually being introduced. They are most commonly made from porcelain or ceramic, which is sometimes blended with metal to provide extra strengths. The colour of the crown is matched to the surrounding teeth so it blends in.
In all cases, you will need to discuss your treatment options with a specialist in restorative dentistry who will be able to advise you of your suitability and likely treatment outcomes.