In simple terms it is a “hat” put on a tooth which has been prepared for it. It matches neighbouring teeth with color and shape making it practically indistinguishable from other teeth.
Crowns can be made from various materials. We can have metal-based crowns where the “hat” is made from steel covered in porcelain. The effect is quite good but unfortunately often you can see a bit of metal where the crown touches the gum. Also the porcelain layer is rather thin and does not ideally imitate a tooth.
Fully ceramic crowns do not have these disadvantages. Entire crown is made from ceramics, allowing for a broader range of aesthetic adjustments. They are perfect for rebuilding front teeth. One has to remember that such a crown has limited durability and shouldn’t be used on molars and premolars as it can eventually brake.
Herein lies another option for crown material – zirconia – a very durable material whilst remaining very aesthetic since it is already white. Such crown has a zirconia base with a bit of porcelain layered on top of it. Such crowns are aesthetic as well as durable making it an ideal choice to rebuild molars and premolars with maximum cosmetic effect. It is said that zirconia is the dentistry material of the future as zirconia fillings should not require any further interventions.
Gold crown is another option. In this case the base is made from this noble metal. These crowns decrease the risk of decay as gold is bacteriostatic – it pushes bacteria away. However, as with metal (steel) crowns, they are not ideally invisible so less aesthetic than other crowns.
When a crown is advised?
- When too little of the existing tooth remained to apply traditional filling.
- When we want to secure a weak tooth from breaking
- When we want to rebuild a broken tooth.
- To cover an implant
- To rebuild a malcolored or misshapen tooth.
- To fix a tooth after root canal treatment where traditional filling is not sufficient.