A dental crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth, restoring it to its original shape and size. Crowns are a good treatment option when the integrity of a given tooth has been damaged to the point where fillings or other types of restorations can not properly repair it. While several types of crowns are available, porcelain crowns are popular because they can mimic the natural color of teeth.
What can this procedure repair?
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Severely decayed teeth
- Cosmetic flaws
- Loss of tooth integrity due to root canals
How is the procedure done?
Placing a dental crown will generally require two appointments. At the first appointment the dentist will numb the tooth, remove decay, and shape the remaining surface to properly fit the crown. Several molds, or impressions, will then be taken of the tooth for creating your custom crown. The dentist will cement a temporary crown in place and check your bite to ensure that it has been properly placed. This will function for you as a normal tooth for about two weeks while your permanent crown is fabricated in a dental laboratory. Once the permanent crown is finished, you will return to the dentist’s office to have your new crown carefully set in place.
What kind of follow up care should I expect?
Fortunately, dental crowns function almost exactly like normal teeth, so you will only rarely notice that it is even present. The dentist will give you care instructions and the continued practice of brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist regularly will help ensure the proper functioning of your new crown. The high durability of porcelain crowns helps them to last many years, but they may eventually need to be replaced.