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A crown is sometimes referred to as a cap. It is an artificial restoration that fits over the remaining part of a prepared tooth, protecting it, making it stronger, and giving it the shape of a natural looking tooth. Normal filling materials will not be sufficient to repair this tooth. Crowns are the ideal way to restore teeth that have been badly broken, have become seriously decayed, or have a large cavity which needs protection from further damage. Crowns can also be used in cosmetic dentistry to improved crooked, misshapen or discoloured teeth.
Crowns can be made of a variety of different materials:
Porcelain crowns are made entirely out of porcelain and look more natural. They are not as strong as the metal-based crowns, but look life-like and are often used for front teeth.
Ceramic crowns are a modern material which gives the strength of a bonded crown, and the appearance of a porcelain crown. They appear life-like, and allow light reflexion like a natural tooth.
Gold crowns are an extremely hard-wearing restoration, and remains one of the very best restorative materials, because it exists of a thin metal layer, it is more tooth friendly.
Post crowns are sometimes the only option when there is only a small amount left of the tooth structure. The post will secure and link the crown into the root canal to keep it in place. The tooth needs to be root treated. The dentist can attach a custom made post to the crown to fit accurately in the shape of the root canal, or we can use a ready-made stainless steel post, which the dentist can fit directly into the root canal. The post is placed and cemented in position ready for the crown to be attached.
The dentist will prepare the tooth so it is the ideal shape for the crown, and take an impression. This enables your crown to be made exactly to fit. Whilst your crown is being made you will be fitted with a temporary crown, and when your new crown arrives it will be fitted by the dentist and permanently cemented into place.