A crown is a tooth-shaped cover placed over a tooth that is badly damaged or decayed. It is also known as a cap.
Indications for Crowns - A broken tooth or one severely damaged by decay is the usual reason for a crown. Often times, a filling can't replace enough of the tooth or make the tooth strong enough.
Parts of a cracked tooth maybe held together by a crown. After Root Canal Treatment, especially in the back teeth. Holding a bridge in place is often another reason for a crown. Crowns can be used to improve appearance as well. They may be placed to cover misshaped or badly discolored teeth.
Types of Crowns – Crowns can be premade (prefabricated) or made to order (custom made) in a laboratory. Prefabricated crowns are made of plastic or stainless steel. They are usually used for a limited time and are considered as a temporary restoration until a custom crown is made. Custom made crown which is considered as permanent crown. Custom crowns are referred to as permanent crowns as they can last for many-many years. Custom crowns not only fit better but also allow to better contours and better color match with other teeth in mouth.
Crown Material – Crowns can be all metal, all ceramic (porcelain), or porcelain fused to metal (PFM). Metals include gold alloy, other alloys (palladium) or a base-metal alloy (nickel or chromium). PFM and all-ceramic crowns are the same color as your natural teeth. You may notice a thin, dark line next to the gum line on your crowned tooth if you look very closely in the mirror, particularly if you have a PFM crown. This dark line is the metal of the crown showing through. Unless it appears on your front teeth and is visible, this is not a concern. You may be required to replace this crown. All ceramic crowns do not show the dark gum line and are therefore mostly indicated for front teeth.
Caution – A crowned tooth is protected from decay, though the gum line is not. A high-fluoride gel maybe prescribed for you to use every night if you have a high risk of developing cavities. A crown does not protect against gum disease. You should continue to brush twice a day and floss daily. Crowns can chip. This can occasionally be repaired in the mouth. Your dentist will etch the porcelain with a special agent and then bond a composite resin to it to fix the chip. The repair may not last long. You may need a replacement crown if there's a lot of chipping.
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