A crown is a type of dental restoration which completely encircles remaining tooth structure or a dental implant. It is necessary to fabricate a crown when there is not enough healthy tooth structure remaining to support filling materials or when restoring dental implants.
Crowns are made of porcelain fused to a metal substrate or can be completely made of ceramic materials.
Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.
Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.
A tooth is usually reduced in size to accommodate a crown. An impression is taken and a cast is made of the existing teeth. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. A temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready to be inserted.
With proper care, a crown can last for many years. It is very important to follow the same oral hygiene instructions that are followed for natural teeth.