What is a crown?

A crown is a hollow shell that covers or caps a specially prepared tooth.

What is a crown made of?

Crowns for front teeth are usually made of porcelain or porcelain bonded to a metal backing. The same materials can be used for the back teeth.However metal such as gold can be used for back teeth when appearance is not important.

What does a crown do?

  • It restores the shape and size of a tooth
  • When the front or outer part is tooth coloured it restores the appearance of a tooth
  • In case of a heavily filled or weakened tooth, particularly a back tooth, it holds it together – just like an iron band around a wooden barrel.

Why a crown?

A crown may be required when an ordinary filling cannot be used. For example:

When a tooth has been damaged by decay.

When a piece has broken off a heavily filled front or back tooth.

When a tooth has been badly damaged in an accident.

After root canal treatment when the remaining tooth would be vulnerable to chipping or cracking.

What is involved?

The missing part of the tooth may first have to be filled with one of the normal filling materials.

The tooth is then reduced on the top and all sides until it looks like an elongated dome.

An imperssion and other records are taken and a temporary crown is fitted.

The crown is constructed and tried in for fit, and where appropriate, colour. (It is important that a crown fit the tooth very accurately.)

Finally the crown is cemented in place.

Source: “Thinking of Having a Crown” Dental Health Foundation Australia