Crowns, aka caps, are false teeth that surround a damaged natural tooth. They restore the tooth’s function and appearance and help maintain proper spacing and occlusion (bite). Besides restoring teeth damaged by decay or injury, crowns can address other dental concerns: they anchor a dental bridge, serve as a dental implant cap, and mask stained teeth that don’t respond to whitening.
Crowns decrease the potential of the tooth fracturing due to brittleness or decay and seal against invading bacteria.
Full gold crowns (FGCs)
The term for this crown is actually a misnomer, as it is actually composed of many different types of elements, including but not limited to gold, platinum, palladium, silver, copper and tin. You can’t beat gold crowns for their durability; they last a lifetime. But they are obvious, thus, are ideal for the back teeth.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns
This is a metal core crown with porcelain overlay. The metal and porcelain unite for durability and aesthetics, respectively. PFM crowns are ideal for patients without metal allergies but they are becoming obsolete as dentist favor tooth-colored resin and porcelain.
These crowns are the most desirable for their incomparable translucence. Ceramic crowns are perfect for fixing front teeth, as they are virtually invisible.
Zirconia crowns are silica-free porcelain that offer enhanced aesthetics and incredible durability. They are so durable that they can withstand the harsh environment of the back teeth with no problem.
A crown installation is a two-step process as well. The first appointment involves reshaping the tooth, making a model of it and sealing it with a temporary cap. On the second appointment, the permanent crown is placed on the tooth, adhered and fine-tuned to fit the bite. The result is a look and feel close to that of a real tooth.
As with inlays and overlays, the crown procedure yields minor to no discomfort. And with regular dental checkups and committed oral hygiene, a dental crown can last a lifetime.