A crown is a protective covering for a tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma, or for teeth that have deep and widespread staining, or large, dark fillings. Crowns can be tinted to match neighboring teeth, so they look completely natural. Most crowns require two office visits one to prepare the tooth that will be receiving the crown, to take an impression of the tooth, and to place a temporary crown on the tooth while the permanent crown is being made. The second visit to remove the temporary crown, clean the tooth surface and apply the permanent crown with a strong adhesive.
There are four kinds of crowns, ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, gold alloys, base metal alloys. Ceramic and porcelain fused to metal crowns are used most often because of their natural appearance. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are made to look similar to a person’s original tooth and can be tinted to match the adjacent teeth. This type of crown may cause additional wearing on chewing surfaces of the opposite tooth. In some instances, patients will be able to see a gray line surrounding the bottom of the tooth at the gum line where the metal in the crown is poking through. All-porcelain crowns provide the most natural looking results but are slightly less strong than the porcelain fused to metal variety. All-porcelain crowns will still wear on the chewing surfaces of the opposite tooth but not as considerably. These forms of crowns are typically best for the front teeth.
No, crowns can be cared for just like natural teeth with regular brushing and flossing and routine trips to the dentist to ensure the crown remains in good shape. As with natural teeth, patients should avoid biting or chewing hard candy or ice to prevent cracks, chips, and breakage.
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