A dental crown helps to preserve the functionality of damaged teeth, protects a cracked tooth, or restores the functionality of a tooth with excessive decay. A dental crown does this by encasing the tooth requiring a crown with a custom-designed material. A tooth that has extensive decay or has undergone a root canal will be a candidate for a dental crown as the damage is too extensive for veneers, direct composite bonding or other conservative treatments.
A dental crown can either be used to restore a damaged tooth or as a lifelike tooth replacement.
Benefits Of Dental Crowns
A dental crown can be used for various reasons including covering discolored or misshapen teeth, and in conjunction with bridges and dental implants. Other benefits of dental crowns may include:
- Holding a cracked tooth together to prevent further damage
- Covering and supporting a tooth with a large filling
- Restoring a broken tooth
Dental Crown Procedure
The dental crown process takes place in two phases or appointments. At the first appointment, the tooth is prepared by filing or reshaping, so the crown can fit in securely and comfortably. The area around the tooth is numbed throughout the procedure with a local anesthetic. After the tooth is prepared, an impression is made of the teeth and gums using a paste or putty. The impression is then sent to a laboratory to make a custom crown, which usually takes two to three weeks. Patients are given a temporary dental crown until the permanent crown is ready.
At the second appointment, the new crown is inspected for proper fit and tooth color. The temporary crown is then removed and the new one is cemented onto the tooth.
Types Of Dental Crowns
Complications Of Dental Crowns
With proper oral hygiene, dental crowns can last from five to fifteen years. Patients should consult with their dentist to see if dental crowns are appropriate for their individual condition.