Dental crowns are an effective way of strengthening teeth that have been damaged by injury or decay. Crowns are sometimes known as caps because they fit over the top of existing teeth. They are designed to look like natural teeth and can enhance the aesthetics of the smile.
They can be made from different materials and new types are becoming available all the time. Crowns can be made from precious metals, such as gold, ceramic bonded to metal and porcelain. Full porcelain crowns are an aesthetically pleasing option, but they are not suitable for everyone. If the crown is required for a tooth at the rear of the mouth, which must withstand a lot of pressure, a metal crown will usually be recommended. Crowns made from porcelain fused to metal are the most common type of crown.
You will not be able to notice the difference between the crown and natural tooth. Crowns are designed to look exactly like natural teeth, with the colour matched to surrounding teeth to ensure the crown blends in. Temporary crowns are fitted while the permanent crown is being manufactured. These crowns are more obvious but they will only be in place for around 2 weeks.
In most cases crowns are fitted over the course of two appointments, which take place around 1 to 2 weeks after each other.
If there is decay close to the pulp tissue, it may be necessary to remove it to prevent further decay and tooth damage.
Crowns should last for several years provided they are well looked-after. The crown itself will not decay, though it is possible for the join (where the crown meets the natural tooth) to decay. It is important to stick to a good daily oral hygiene regime and see your dentist for regular check-ups.
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