A crown is basically a cap that is placed over what is left of a tooth. In most cases, a crown is used to fill an opening between teeth where a tooth has been severely damaged, broken, or lost. Temporary crowns may be made of almost any material, but more than likely they will be manufactured using a composite resin. Permanent crowns are normally made of a high grade, dental porcelain that is designed to last for several years without cracking, chipping, staining or breaking. Crowns normally take the same shape and color of the teeth they are replacing in the mouth.
Temporary crowns are often made up of composite resin, simply because they will only be needed for a short period of time. Ceramic and porcelain are the two most common materials that are used in the manufacture of crowns. Porcelain is by far the strongest and most durable of the glass style crowns. It is very difficult to chip or stain and will withstand several years of constant wear and tear. Gold is also used in the manufacture of crowns. Gold is extremely durable, will not break, chip or stain. The main problem when it comes to gold crowns is the cost. Gold crowns can be very costly depending on where and how they are made. Gold crowns are also much more noticeable because of their color.
In most cases, crowns are intended to be permanent. When they are designed to attach to a metal post that has been implanted in the jaw, the goal is to add the crown and create a barrier that holds the surrounding teeth in place. If a person has lost a tooth or teeth, the ones that are left behind tend to shift. This causes other teeth to drift out of alignment and can result in the alignment of the jaw also being thrown off. When crowns are put in place, the normal structure of the jaw is restored and there is less risk of the teeth being damaged or chipped from not lining up correctly as a person chews or speaks.