What are dental crowns?
Dental crowns are placed to save a tooth when normal fillings will not suffice, due to:
- Extensive decay;
- A portion of the tooth has been lost;
- A non-vital tooth requires protection;
- A tooth has developed cracks;
- To make a discoloured tooth look more natural.
Unlike normal fillings that sit inside or bond to the surface of a tooth – a crown is like a cap that covers the entire tooth structure and is cemented in place. It is made of inherently strong materials, cast metal, fused ceramics and fired porcelain. Crowns actually impart strength to the remaining tooth structure.
Crowns prevent splitting of the tooth – in much the same way as a metal band around a fence post holds the post together. Crowns are usually required on teeth that have undergone endodontic (root canal) treatment. This is because being nonvital (dead), they are more brittle than normal teeth.