A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a tooth to cover the tooth to restore its shape, size, strength and appearance. The crown will fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. There are several types of crowns that can be used, including ceramic, porcelain, resin, and stainless steel. Cosmetic crowns are usually made of porcelain or ceramic.
A dental crown may be needed:
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth left
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To protect a weak tooth from decay or to hold a cracked tooth together
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover a discolored or misshaped tooth
- For a cosmetic reason
Before the process of making your crown, your dentist will need to anesthetize (numb up) both your tooth and the gum tissue that surrounds. Dental crowning procedures may be made in a single visit or separate appointments. Single visit crowns can be made if the dentist has all the needed equipment to place the crown.
Separate visit crowning consists of:
- Preparing and shaping of the tooth
- Taking the tooth impression
- Placing of a temporary crown
During the time between the two appointments, a dental laboratory will fabricate the crown. When the patient returns for the second appointment, the dentist will remove your temporary crown, then cement the finished crown into place and inspect the way it fits. The dentist will use a dental tool to scrape away any excess that has extruded from underneath the edges of the crown.
Following the procedure, you will be given instructions to be careful until numbing has worn off as you could easily bite your lip or cheek by accident. Also do not eat anything hard or sticky due to the fresh cement. In the next day or two, gently test the “bite” of your crown to make sure it feels right with all types of closing movements. Notify the dentist of any issues so the problem can be corrected.