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A crown is a cap that is put over a tooth which is broken, decayed or crumbled. Crowns can also be used to cover up discolored teeth, to cover fillings and to cover dental implants.
Crowns can be made of a variety of materials, such as metals like gold or nickel alloy, porcelain and metal together (or just porcelain on its own), resin or ceramic.
Metal is the strongest type of crown and usually lasts the longest, compared with other types but there are disadvantages. The crowns look metallic so it is obvious that the person has one unless it is placed on one of the back teeth. Some people are also allergic to metal.
The porcelain and metal crowns have been made to look more like natural teeth and are a good choice if you need one on a front tooth. However, the porcelain can sometimes chip off.
Ceramic or all-porcelain crowns are available and are the best option for people with allergies to metal. Resin crowns are the better option if your income or insurance is limited.
How is a Crown Put On?
You will have two appointments. At the first appointment, the dentist will x-ray your teeth and jaw to check the condition of your roots and surrounding jaw bone in case a root canal is needed. Then you will be given a local anaesthetic and your tooth will be reduced in size so that the crown will fit over it. An impression will be taken of your teeth so that the crown fits to its exact specifications.
While the dental lab is making the crown you will be given a temporary one to cover your tooth.
At the second appointment you will be given another local anaesthetic and the permanent crown is cemented to your affected tooth. Your mouth will be numb for a few hours afterwards so it is best to avoid hard foods during that time so you don’t end up with accidental bite injuries.
You can clean your teeth normally after having crowns put in and should do so to avoid further decay.
Dental Crowns, WebMD. Web. 18 November 2011.
How Do Crowns Work? Raleigh Dentist. Web. 18 November 2011. http://www.raleighdentist.com/how-do-crowns-work.php