A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth—covering the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and/or to improve its appearance.
The crowns, when cemented into place, fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.
Why is a dental crown needed?
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:
- To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay, from breaking, or after a root canal therapy) or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
- To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there is not a lot of tooth left
- To hold a dental bridge in place
- To cover misshaped or severely discolored teeth
- To cover a dental implant
What types of crown materials are available?
Permanent crowns can be made from all metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or all ceramic.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (usually gold) dental crowns are color matched to your adjacent teeth. Aside from all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look most like normal teeth. The crown's porcelain portion can also chip or break off. These crowns are stronger than all-ceramic crowns and are an excellent choice for posterior (back) teeth.
- All-ceramic crowns are made entirely from tooth-colored ceramic material. They are probably the best cosmetic alternative to natural teeth, but they are not as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal. For that reason they are usually placed on anterior (front) teeth.
First visit: crown preparation
As the first step in the process of making your crown, Dr. Kinga will anesthetize (numb) your tooth and the gum tissue around it. Next, the tooth receiving the crown will be filed down along the chewing surface and sides to make room for the crown. If a large area of the tooth is missing (due to decay or damage), a synthetic pin (post) and filling material will be used to "build up" the tooth to support the crown.
After reshaping the tooth, an impression of the tooth will be taken for a laboratory to precisely fabricate your crown.
Dr. Kinga will also select the shade that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth.
Second visit: receiving the permanent dental crown
During your second visit, Dr. Kinga will check the fit and color of the crown. If everything is acceptable and you are happy with your new crown, it will be permanently cemented into place.