Compared to fillings which just cover a small portion of a tooth, a crown (or cap) encases the entire visible portion of a tooth, restoring both function and appearance. A dental crown is used when a tooth is fractured, significantly decayed or to protect a very large filling. The crown provides a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth giving it added strength as well as improving its appearance. Crowns restore a tooth to its original shape and are required following endodontic treatment (root canal) to protect the tooth from fracturing. Crowns are available in different materials, all of which give the tooth a natural feel.
Crowns are typically used to:
Improve the appearance of a smile
Protect a large filling, a root canal treated tooth
Repair a fractured, severely decayed tooth
Types of Crowns:
Metal: Strongest crowns available, recommended for the back teeth.
All porcelain/ceramic: Best match to natural tooth color, always recommended for the front teeth.
How it's done.
Crowns are created in two visits. The first visit to your dentist involves reshaping the tooth and taking impressions to create the crown. After the dentist reshapes your tooth, he will use a special material to create an impression. This impression will be sent to a dental laboratory to be made into a permanent crown. Before sending you home, the dentist will provide you with a temporary crown to cover your tooth in between visits to protect the prepared tooth.
When you return to your dentist for the second visit, he will have received the permanent crown from the laboratory. The temporary crown is removed and the new permanent crown is placed into position. Before cementing the permanent crown in place, he will ensure that it fits comfortably and matches the color of your teeth.