Dental crowns, also known as caps, are a permanent covering fitted over worn or damaged teeth. They can also be used for a cosmetic purpose, restoring a discolored tooth to its previous color. During this procedure, your dentist may fit you with a temporary crown to protect the damaged tooth while the permanent crown is being constructed.
Crowns can serve many purposes in cosmetic or restorative dentistry. They can provide much needed support for weakened or broken teeth. If left untreated some dental problems can lead to uncomfortable and unhealthy problems such as jaw pain, headaches and bite anomalies, and could do further damage to healthy teeth. Our dentist might suggest a dental crown if you have soft or weakened teeth, to support filled teeth, to better anchor bridgework, restore the proper appearance of chipped, discolored or misshapen teeth, to cover a dental implant, cover a tooth and strengthen it after a root canal, or to create a more healthy bite.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a dental crown involves:
- Numbing the tooth and removing the decay in or around it.
- Re-sculpturing the tooth so as to provide an proper fit for the crown.
- Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (this usually takes 1-2 weeks).
- Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin, and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period while the permanent crown is being made.
- Installing the permanent crown, when received from the lab, by removing the temporary crown and applying the permanent crown onto the tooth.
- After ensuring that the permanent crown has the right look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This whole process usually consists of a minimum of 2-3 visits over a 3-4 week period.
Once the crown procedure is completed, correct dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is necessary to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. Given proper care, your dental crowns can last a lifetime.