A crown is a type of dental restoration that completely encircles a tooth or dental implant. They are mostly used when a tooth has been extensively damaged from decay or fracture and a filling material will not be strong enough to restore tooth function. Crowns can also be used for aesthetic purposes to improve the appearance of badly misshapen or discoloured teeth. Crowns are generally described as being one of three types;
1. Full Gold Crown - This is the strongest type of crown and requires the most conservative preparation. The use of these crowns are generally restricted to the back of the mouth due to the gold colour of the restoration.
2. Metal Ceramic Crown - These crowns are made by bonding porcelain to a precious metal substructure, giving the crowns the advantage of having a tooth coloured appearance combined with the strength of the metal internal structure.
3. All Ceramic Crowns - A huge amount of research has gone in to creating a material that can both replicate the appearance of tooth structure and has sufficient strength to survive the harsh environment that makes up the mouth. In the last 10 years ceramic materials that can reliably achieve these results have been developed. The result is crowns that can match the translucency of enamel without the underlying metal substructure causing unwanted opacities. The cosmetic results of these crowns are unrivaled.