A crown is a cap that is protective toothed-shaped cap placed over the entire visible part of a tooth that is damaged or weak. It can also cover a dental implant, a tooth that has had a root canal, and a misshapen or discolored tooth. It can also be used to hold a dental bridge in place.
The greatest advantage of all-ceramic crowns is their ability to be color matched to the existing teeth, giving the restoration a more natural look. These crowns are better for front teeth restorations.
Porcelain Fused to Metal
Porcelain fused to metal crowns can also be color matched to the surrounding teeth. These crowns are a desirable choice for back tooth restorations where the metal is needed for added strength, and because, sometimes the underlying metal tends to show through the porcelain as a dark line along the gum line.
Metal crowns tend to last the longest in terms of wear. Metals used include gold alloy and palladium alloy and base-metal alloys such as chromium and nickel. Metal crowns rarely chip and can withstand biting and chewing forces very well. Because of the less natural look, they are more suited for molars that are out of sight.
Stainless steel crowns are primarily made to be used by pediatric dental patients. They are prefabricated metal caps used to cap decayed baby molars and prevent them from further decay. They are designed to stay on the molar and fall of naturally when the baby tooth falls out.
Restoration of the tooth structure after decay and other damage can also be done with the use onlays and inlays. Onlays and inlays are restorations made of porcelain, gold or composite resin material and are that are typically used to replace old fillings. These restorations are different from regular fillings because an impression of the tooth needs to be taken and the onlay or inlay is made from the mold of the tooth to fit exactly onto the tooth. While the inlay restoration is like a regular filling in that it fits inside the top edges of the tooth, an onlay is usually more extensive and replaces the entire biting surface of the tooth.