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A crown is commonly known as a cap. The process of placing a crown on a tooth involves reshaping the tooth so that a permanent cover can be placed on top of it. Crowns, are designed to strengthen or reconstruct teeth that have extensive fillings or fractures. They may also be used to enhance the appearance of teeth.
There are many materials used to construct crowns, from metals such as gold to resins and ceramics. Each material has its unique advantages and disadvantages. It follows that, there is no “perfect” material. Most crowns today are constructed of a ceramic material fused to a metal substructure. These crowns have good aesthetics and great strength. Crowns for front teeth may be constructed of ceramic only. However, it is not always possible to use ceramic only crowns, especially in cases where there is very heavy pressure on the teeth.
The process of restoring a tooth with any type of crown takes a fairly similar course.
1. The tooth is evaluated to determine extent of decay, gum health, and type of crown restoration.
2. You will be given a local anaesthetic around the working area before preparing the tooth.
3. For the crown to work effectively the tooth will need to be reduced in size and shaped to both support the crown and to make sure it doesn't protrude.
4. Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist will take an impression and a colour match from surrounding teeth. These impressions are used to construct models. The crown will then be made in the dental laboratory. A temporary crown will be cemented into place.
5. The final crown is evaluated for many factors including fitting, colour, and bite. Corrections and adjustments are made when necessary. The crown is then cemented in place.
Metallic ceramic crowns
A metal is poured on the ground tooth which is then covered with tooth coloured ceramics. This ceramics completely obscures the metal making it look aesthetic. Producing this metal cap from any precious metal complies with the strictest standards of biocompatibility and aesthetics. These crowns are stable and long-lasting; the ceramic crown cover is colour-fast and offers a high aesthetic value.
Metal-free ceramic crown
If the ground tooth is not given a metal cup but is completely made of ceramics, than it is referred to as metal-free or all ceramic crown. As no metal is present and ceramics itself is highly permeable to light, it conforms to high aesthetic standards. Today, this is the most perfect, biocompatible and aesthetic prosthesis.
Not only pouring is available to mount a metal cup on the ground tooth stump, but the so-called gold electroplating too. This produces an extremely thin (only 0.2 mm) cap made from pure gold which is covered with ceramics. The crowns so prepared are outstandingly accurate and the yellow golden base provides a lively colour effect.
Ceramic crown, fused to zirconium
One of the most difficult areas in dentistry today is the restoration of dental structures with biocompatible materials that are strong enough to withstand the forces of chewing (500-1000lbs pressure on molar teeth). Patients now have a choice of a material that is esthetic, strong, pure, biocompatible and capable of being used for single and long span dental bridgework. That material is called Zirconium oxide.
Required trips, for an average complexity treatment: 1
Required days, for an average complexity treatment: 4
(For ceramic crowns fused to zirconium: 5 days)
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