A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that is significantly weakened and would otherwise not be strong enough to support normal function.
Crowns are most commonly needed following root canal treatment but are also used to repair broken teeth. Crowns can also be used in the front to improve a person's appearance.
Crowns are most commonly made of porcelain for cosmetic reasons. There are many types of porcelain crowns. The best type for each person will be discussed by the dentist. Crowns can also be made from a precious metal alloy containing mostly gold.
How are crowns made?
A crown is generally placed in two steps. The first step involves shaping the tooth to allow the crown to fit onto the tooth. Afterwards a series of impressions are made of the prepared tooth and mouth which are used to make models of the person's teeth. These models of the mouth are sent to a dental laboratory where the custom made crown is fabricated. A temporary crown is placed after the first step to protect the tooth until the permanent crown is placed.
At the second appointment your temporary crown will be removed, and the new crown will be carefully adjusted to ensure the spacing and bite is accurate; finally the crown will be cemented with permanent cement.