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A crown is a 'cover' made of metal or porcelain, or a combination of these materials, that goes over a damaged or weak tooth. Metal crowns are strong and durable, and are often used for back teeth. Porcelain crowns can be matched to the natural color of the other teeth, making them a good choice for front teeth. A crown is sometimes held in place by a post in the root of your tooth, known as a dental implant, if a lot of the tooth substance is missing due to decay. The purpose of a crown is often to restore damaged teeth, and covers the entire visible portion of a tooth, restoring its shape, size, strength, and appearance.


In preparation for a crown, your dentist will shape the tooth so that the new crown fits snugly over the prepared tooth. The time required to prepare your tooth will depend on the extent of existing damage to the tooth, and whether it needs to be built up with a filling first. After preparing the tooth to be crowned, your dentist will use a soft, moldable material to take an impression. A dental technician uses the impression to make the crown the correct size and shape, and ensures that it will fit snugly over the prepared tooth. A temporary, plastic crown is put over the tooth to cover and protect it while your custom, permanent crown is being made in a laboratory by a dental technician. You can chew on a temporary crown, but it won’t be nearly as strong as the finished one. Your dentist will advise on how to look after your temporary crown, until your treatment can be completed with a permanent, durable fitting. When the crown is fitted, your dentist will make small adjustments to make sure you can bite comfortably and that you are happy with its appearance. After trying the crown on and making adjustments, the crown is then glued into place as permanent fix.


Crowns are usually recommended when a tooth is badly damaged or decayed, or when it has undergone a root canal procedure. The alternative to a crown is a dental filling. Fillings are used to repair small areas of damage or decay. While fillings can be effective, they are not as strong as crowns and may need to be replaced more often. When a tooth is severely damaged or decayed, a crown is often the best choice for restoring it. Crowns help protect the weakened tooth from further damage and provide a long-lasting solution. Crowns also help restore the natural shape and appearance of a tooth, and can improve its function. Because a crown covers the entire tooth, it can be custom-made to match the colour of your existing teeth and serve to enhance the appearance of a discoloured or damaged tooth.

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