A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown is most commonly used to protect and strengthen a tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. However, crowns—especially porcelain crowns—can also be used to cap teeth for cosmetic reasons.
Although there are several types of crowns, porcelain crowns are the most popular, because this material resembles your natural tooth enamel very closely. Porcelain crowns are made to match the shape, size, and color or your teeth giving you a natural, long-lasting beautiful smile. They are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they will eventually need to be replaced.
Reasons for crowns:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
- Final phase of root canal therapy
What does getting a crown involve?
Getting porcelain crowns usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate molds (or impressions) that will be used to create your custom crown. If you are getting your crown for cosmetic reasons, the dentist can adjust the mold slightly to ensure that the finished crown will actually look better than your original tooth. This mold will also be used to create a temporary crown, which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown has been fabricated by a dental laboratory.
While the tooth is numb, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay and shaping the surface to properly fit the crown. Once these tasks are accomplished, your temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure the crown fits properly.
At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully placed to ensure the spacing and bite is accurate. You will be given care instructions and encouraged to have regular dental visits to check your new crown and make sure it is still performing well.