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Crowns: Save and Protect Severely Decayed Teeth

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What is a crown?

A crown, also known as a cap, covers the entire outside of a tooth. It can be made in either porcelain or gold.

 

What is a crown used for?

Severely decayed or fractured teeth. Crowns protect and strengthen the tooth. A crown should be placed before a tooth is so decayed that it is at risk of fracturing.

 

How is a crown placed?

After the decay has been removed, an impression is taken to give a highly accurate reproduction of the shape of the tooth. A provisional restoration is temporarily cemented on the tooth, and the mold is sent to a dental laboratory where a custom crown is fabricated. The crown is then cemented to the tooth.

 

Advantages:

Crowns are durable, very strong, and custom made to fit the tooth. They reduce fractures, and a well-made crown reduces the risk of recurrent decay.

 

Disadvantages:

Crowns may need to be replaced or re-cemented due to normal wear.

 

Other possible treatments:

If a tooth is so badly decayed that it cannot be crowned, it will need to be removed and a bridge or implant will need to be placed.

 

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