What are Crowns?
A Crown – also known as a “CAP” – is a type of dental restoration which completely encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are often used to improve the strength or appearance of teeth. Crowns are often needed when a large cavity or filling threatens the ongoing health and strength of a tooth. Similarly, they are often required after endodontic (root canal) therapy on a tooth.
Crowns are typically bonded to the tooth using a dental cement, though they can be made from many materials, and are usually fabricated using indirect methods. While inarguably beneficial to dental health, there may sometimes be alternative methods available, such as inlays and onlays.
How are Crowns made?
The most common method of manufacturing a crown involves first preparing the tooth, reducing the circumference by the thickness required for the material to be used. An impression of the prepared tooth is then obtained and sent to a dental laboratory where the crown is fabricated. The crown can then be inserted at a subsequent dental appointment.
Using this indirect method of tooth restoration allows use of strong and extremely cosmetic restorative materials. The use of porcelain with gold alloys, or extremely strong porcelain by itself, allows the restoration of a tooth to a size, shape and appearance often better than the original. Crowns can also be used to support and retain fixed bridges and removable dentures.