When a tooth has suffered considerable damage or decay, a dental crown may be the solution to restoring its structure, functionality, and appearance. Also known as a cap, a crown is placed onto a tooth, completely covering it, and cemented to fully encase the entire visible portion.
Crowns are very versatile in their uses. They may be needed to:
A crown can be made of stainless steel, metals, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, ceramic, or porcelain. They are custom-made in a dental laboratory using impressions taken of the affected tooth.
To have a crown placed, the tooth must be prepared. It will be cleaned and have a portion removed in order to make room for the crown. Impressions are then taken of it and sent to a dental laboratory. While waiting for the permanent crown to be created, a temporary one will be placed to protect the tooth. Once the permanent crown returns from the dental lab, a second appointment will be needed to have the temporary crown removed and have the permanent one cemented to the tooth.
Crowns require the same hygiene habits as natural teeth, meaning regular brushing and flossing. With proper care, crowns usually last between five and 15 years.