What is a crown?
A dental crown is a porcelain cap that protects and covers a decayed or damaged tooth that does not have enough tooth structure left to hold a filling. A crown restores the tooth’s original size, shape and colour.
How do dental crowns work?
Crowns strengthen a broken tooth and improve its function and appearance. Crowns can be used to restore a tooth after another dental procedure such as a root canal. They may also be used to cover dental implants, attach bridges or for cosmetic purposes, including to lighten a discoloured tooth.
Because they are made of porcelain, crowns are very durable and stain-resistant.
The Basics: Dental Crown Procedure
Placing a dental crown requires two dental appointments. These are the steps for the procedure:
- At the first appointment your dentist will prepare your tooth, take an impression of it and send it to a lab so a laboratory technician can see all aspects of your bite and jaw movements.
- Your crown is sculpted to fit that specific tooth, so that you can move your jaw to speak and eat normally once your dentist places the crown.
- While your crown is being made, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown until the permanent one can be placed.
- Once it’s ready, you can return for a second appointment. Here your crown will be placed and sculpted to your requirements, so that your jaw and bite function normally. Your dental crown will look and function similar to your natural teeth and can last 10 years or more if cared for properly.
Am I a candidate for a dental crown?
You may benefit from a dental crown if you:
- need a filling replaced, but your natural tooth is too small due to a large crack, fracture or severe decay (there has to be at least one-third of the tooth still remaining)
- have had a root canal procedure or dental implant and need to replace missing teeth have a crooked or discoloured tooth and want to improve its appearance
If you’re interested in dental crowns, please speak with your dentist to see if dental crowns are right for you.