A crown (cap) is a restoration that may be used for a number of dental conditions. Mostly, a crown is used to restore a tooth that has been decayed or damaged to a point that a dental filling will not most likely be a restoration that will hold up long-term. The tooth is reduced by 1.5 to 2 millimeters and a crown is custom made to fit over the entire tooth from the gum line. It restores a tooth to its normal size, shape, and function.
A crown may be appropriate if you have:
- a cavity that is too large for a filling
- a missing tooth that will be replaced with a bridge
- a dental implant
- a root canal (the crown will protect the tooth from cracking or breaking after the root canal treatment)
- a tooth that has been cracked, worn down, or otherwise damaged.
Generally two dental appointments are needed for a crown. First, the tooth is prepared and an impression is taken. A temporary crown is then placed on the tooth until the permanent crown is made. After the impression is made and sent to the lab a mold of the teeth is poured and the crown is fabricated. After fabrication the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is adjusted and approval is received from the patient as to shade and shape before the crown is permanently cemented.
There are various types of crowns, ranging from full porcelain to full metal. Dr. Wahlstrom will explain the advantages and disadvantages of each kind for you. Porcelain crowns are popular because they match the natural appearance and color of your teeth.