Reviewed by: Dr. Kristen Dority
The crown of a tooth is the portion that extends beyond the gumline and is covered and protected by enamel.
The crowns of natural teeth require good oral care, regular dental checkups, and sound dietary habits to stay healthy.
Sugar is particularly offensive to the enamel covering the crowns of natural teeth. Individuals that do enjoy sugared beverages and foods are cautioned to consume them at meal times and then to brush and floss afterward. When sugar is allowed to remain in the mouth for an extended time, it can attack the enamel of natural teeth and compromise the vitality of the tooth crowns.
The term crown also refers to a false tooth made from gold or porcelain that is cemented over compromised natural tooth structure. Crowns are also referred to as caps.
Occasionally, false crowns or caps will come loose leaving the tooth underneath exposed. In emergencies the crown can be refixed with over-the-counter dental cement found in pharmacies. The preferred route, though, is to get into the dentist within a day or two. Because teeth can move and shift very quickly, dentists advise not waiting more than a few days to have a crown recemented into place.
Last updated: 13-May-05