A dental crown sometimes referred to as a cap, is used to restore and enhance teeth damaged by decay or trauma. A tooth-shaped “cap” is placed over the base of a tooth free from decay and used to restore its shape, size, and strength. The crown fully covers the tooth’s visible portion, above the gum line, and protects the natural tooth beneath.
Why would a crown be used?
- To protect a weak tooth damaged by decay or trauma
- To restore an already broken tooth
- To provide support to a tooth with an extensive filling when there isn’t a lot of the tooth left
- To hold and support a dental bridge
- To make cosmetic modifications
- To protect a tooth that had Root Canal Treatment or Retreatment
- To cover a dental implant
Several options are available for the crown material, including porcelain, porcelain fused with metal, gold, and zirconia. Talk to your dentist to determine which is best for your treatment.
What to expect during your crown procedure?
Placing a crown generally takes two office visits.
Your first visit is to prepare your tooth for the new crown. After a thorough examination of the tooth receiving the crown, the tooth is prepared and shaped. In severe decay or damage cases, the tooth may need filling to provide a stable base for the crown. Often known as a build-up, sometimes dental posts are placed to support the build-up and increase the crown’s strength and longevity.
Once preparation is complete, the dental assistant will create an impression of the tooth and surrounding teeth. The dental impression is used by the dental lab to create a crown that mirrors your natural tooth and tooth structures. The dentist will place a temporary crown to protect the area until you return for the permanent crown using provisional dental cement or adhesive.
During your second visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and replaces it with the permanent crown once digital x-rays confirm the fit and placement. In some cases, the dentist files the height of the crown and to adjust your bite.