Crowns, or “caps”, help to protect a weakened tooth from damage because it covers the entire tooth structure. They come in different materials: Stainless steel, Porcelain over Metal, and Zirconia (tooth-colored ceramic, non-metal), among others. You may need a crown if you:
- Have a cavity that is too large for a filling
- Need to strengthen a tooth that is worn down or broken
- Have an implant
- Have a root canal treated tooth
- Need to replace a missing tooth with a bridge
- Want to change the color or shape of a discolored/chipped tooth
There are two appointments for completing a crown: the Preparation visit and the Delivery visit. During the Preparation visit, your dentist will anesthetize your tooth and shape it to allow for a new crown to fit comfortably in your mouth. An impression will be taken of your tooth and bite and will be sent to a dental laboratory for a technician to create your custom crown based on your dentist’s instructions. Your dental team will make a custom temporary tooth-colored crown to hold its place while the dental laboratory makes your crown.
During the Delivery visit, no anesthesia is needed. The doctor will try the crown in to verify its fit, shape, and color. If all of the criteria are met, your crown will be cemented permanently with an anti-bacterial cement.
Precautions for any type of crown (bridge, single crown, and/or implant crown) include avoiding sticky foods and hard foods/items (ice, pencils), maintaining its longevity with correct oral hygiene habits–especially flossing!, and regular visits to the dentist for exams and teeth cleanings.