A crown (sometimes called a cap) is a covering that completely encases the tooth, restoring it to its original size and shape—or in the case of cosmetic enhancements, to improved size and shape. A crown strengthens and protects tooth structure that cannot be restored by more conservative treatments, such as fillings, inlays or onlays.
Several types of crowns are available, of which, tooth colored porcelain crowns are the most popular, because they closely match your natural teeth. Porcelain crowns are quite durable. With reasonable care they will normally last many for years. Still, like natural teeth and every type of dental restorations, they may eventually require maintenance or replacement. Porcelain crowns are constructed to accurately match the size, shape, and color or your own natural teeth, thereby giving you a beautiful, long-lasting smile.
A crown procedure will usually require two appointments. During your first appointment, the dentist will take several very precise molds (or impressions). These will be used to fabricate your custom crown. A temporary crown will also be formed using a mold. The temporary crown will remain on your tooth until your new, “permanent” crown is fabricated by a dental laboratory – usually a period of about two weeks.
The tooth and adjacent gum are anesthetized. While it is numb, your dentist will prepare the tooth, removing any decay and shaping the surface to facilitate fitting the new crown. When these preparations are completed, the temporary crown will be secured in place with temporary cement, and your bite will be checked to ensure that your teeth are meeting properly.
During your second appointment, the temporary crown is removed, the tooth thoroughly cleaned. When all preparations are complete, your new crown will be precisely placed, the spacing and bite carefully evaluated, and the crown will be secured with a “permanent” adhesive
Before your treatment is completed, you will receive care instructions, and you’ll be encouraged to schedule regular dental visits to routinely maintain your teeth and to verify the health of your new porcelain crowns.