The Dental Crown
If you’ve been told you need a crown, then that’s a very reasonable question to ask. A crown is a cap, tooth-shaped, placed over the tooth itself. This restores its shape, size, and strength, while improving its appearance. Once cemented into place, the crown completely encases the visible portion of the tooth that lies above and at the gum line.
A crown serves many different purposes. A crown may be used to protect a weak tooth so that it doesn’t break, for example, or to hold a cracked tooth together. When a tooth is severely worn down or is broken, a crown may be placed on the tooth to restore strength of the tooth. Crowns are recommended when a tooth has a large filling and very little natural tooth material remains. They can also improve the appearance of discolored or misshapen teeth. Finally, a crown can be used to hold a dental bridge in place, or to cover a dental implant.
There are several different crown materials available. Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic. We will review the different types of crowns with you before the crown is started to determine what type of crown is best for you.
Crowns are completed in two separate appointments – but we also offer same-day dental crowns. During your first appointment, impressions of your teeth are taken so that the lab can create a crown that matches your original tooth. Next, the dentist shapes your tooth on the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. After this has been completed, he will place a temporary crown over the tooth. The temporary crowns are created in the dentist office, the day of your first appointment. These temporary crowns serve as a temporary restoration until the permanent crown can be made in the dental laboratory. If a temporary crown comes off, come back to re-cement or try a temporary crown adhesive from the store. But, do not use unapproved glues such as super glue.
Approximately two weeks after your first appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent is put into place. The permanent crown is specifically custom made for your mouth by the dental lab.