A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain (tooth colored crown) are the most popular, because they resemble your natural teeth. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they will eventually need to be replaced. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile.
What does getting a crown involve?
A crown procedure usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. A mold will also be used to create a temporary crown which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these details are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly.
At your second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite are accurate.
You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown.
When is a crown needed?
Adult teeth, which break through the gums anywhere between the ages of six and 18, are inherently strong. Over time, teeth begin to weaken and thin due to normal wear and tear. When the walls of the tooth get too thin, remedial options include a crown.
In addition to normal weakening over time, a crown may also be necessary if teeth are decayed, broken or fractured. If you have had a root canal, your filling is too large or has broken, or if you would like an even smile, a crown is usually the solution. A crown protects and strengthens the tooth structure when fillings and other forms of restoration are not an option. Crowns are not destructive to teeth—in fact, it’s just the opposite! They lengthen the life of our teeth and are incredibly beautiful.