A dental crown covers the entire exterior of a tooth like a “cap” to restore the normal shape, size, and function. Its purpose is to strengthen a weak or fractured tooth, provide support for a large filling, or improve the appearance of the tooth.
There are several steps involved to prepare the tooth for a dental crown. Two dental visits are generally needed to complete the treatment. During the initial visit, the tooth is prepared by removing the outer portion to accommodate the thickness of the crown. Existing fillings generally are removed and replaced with new material to ensure a solid foundation for the crown and ensure no fractures or cracks are present. An impression is taken to provide an exact model of the prepared tooth, which is used by the local, skilled laboratory technician to develop and shape the crown. A temporary crown is made and placed while the final crown is being fabricated. The second visit involves removing the temporary crown, trying the final crown, and asking any necessary adjustments. When you and the dentist is satisfied with how it looks and feels, the crown is bonded into place.
Crowns can be made a from a variety of materials depending on the location, function, and visibility of the tooth being covered. Porcelain and ceramic crowns provide a natural appearance for visible teeth, while metal crowns (or combination metal and porcelain) work well for molars. The dentist will review options with you and be part of the decision making process.