A dental crown has distinct qualities that a veneer doesn’t have, and the two mustn’t be confused says a City of London dentist. A crown is a man made cap that is fitted to a damaged tooth, that damage can be a crack, a chip or a discolouration. It is made from a silver or gold based alloy, this in turn is coated with a hard wearing material to make it naturally white in colour. Some patients prefer to keep the silver or gold effect as a form of tooth jewellery, but that is a matter of personal taste rather than a requirement of a crown. Unlike a veneer that is a thin cover for the tooth, a crown actually replaces the depth of the tooth that is damaged. The dental technician makes the crown to a certain spec, then the dentist will remove the top layer of the tooth to the depth of the thickness of the cap, when the cap is fitted in place the tooth is half real and half artificial. It looks and feels, for all intents and purposes, like the original tooth. It retains all its nerves, but that makes it just as susceptible to infection as the other teeth, unlike dental implants which replace the whole tooth. A crown should last for years and will not usually wear down like a natural tooth, it isn’t possible to get an infection in a crown as it is an artificial tooth after all, but where the crown is joined to the natural tooth,this area is prone to infection as it is the natural tooth. Cleaning of the crown is the same as for the natural teeth, and flossing is also important to prevent an infection creeping into the join. The dental cement used will usually seal the joint, but this wears down with time and so extra dental care is necessary.