A crown is a dental restoration which completely encircles the existing natural tooth and restores it to its natural form. Crowns are most commonly used to strengthen a severely damaged tooth, and are bonded with dental cement. Crowns are also fitted on top of implants to provide a tooth-like restoration.
Crown treatments almost always require two visits. Initially, the tooth will need to be drilled and shaped to form a preparation on to which the crown can sit. After this is completed, an impression of the preparation is taken and a temporary crown is fitted onto the tooth. The impression is then sent to a laboratory where the crown is hand-made and hand-shaded to suit your mouth according to specifications set by the dentist.
At the next appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is cemented into place. Slight adjustment of the crown may be required at this point.
They are composed of a gold alloy and are mostly indicated for posterior teeth. The advantage of gold crowns is that minimal preparation is required on the tooth. Because of the high gold content of this type of crown, the crown is slightly malleable, being able to adapt to changes in your bite over time.
These crowns are the most common type of crown used today. They are made of porcelain with an underlying metal substructure. This allows for the restoration to have strength and be aesthetically pleasing.
Full porcelain crowns are the most aesthetic of the three. They are able to very closely mimic the natural shadings of the tooth, in certain cases, being virtually indistinguishable.