Dental crowns are used to repair and protect damaged or weak teeth. A crown will often be recommended where there is too much damage that can be repaired by a simple filling or inlay. The weak or damaged part of the tooth is carefully removed and covered with the crown, which is bonded to the remaining tooth. The result is strong and hard-wearing.
Dental crowns can be made of metal, but all-metal crowns are normally only fitted to back teeth. When a crown is required for front teeth, the metal is covered with porcelain for a more natural look. For a completely natural look, with the end result being virtually indistinguishable from a real tooth, the crown can be hand-made entirely from porcelain. Crowns can also be used to improve the appearance of misshapen or discoloured teeth.
A crown can last for many years if good oral hygiene is maintained, depending on the condition of the original tooth. Extra care should be taken to keep the crown and surrounding area clean.