A crown can be used for several reasons:
- Replacing a large discoloured filling to improve the appearance of a tooth.
- After a root filling, to protect what is left of the tooth.
- To hold a bridge or denture firmly in place.
Porcelain bonded to precious metal: a strong precious metal base is made and then porcelain is applied in layers over it to make it look like a tooth.
These crowns are made entirely out of porcelain, without the metal base, they can look very natural and are often used for front teeth.
This modern technique offers a metal-free alternative, which can give the strength of a bonded crown and the appearance of a porcelain crown which is suitable for use in all areas of the mouth.
Gold is one of the oldest filling materials. Today it is used with other metal alloys to increase its strength, which makes it very hardwearing.
Bridges can fill a gap where a tooth is missing, this is usually done by crowning the adjacent teeth/tooth and having a false tooth in the gap, very similar to crowns, they can be made using the same materials.