A dental crown is a type of dental restoration that is used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. The crown, which is also known as a “cap,” is custom-made to fit over the existing tooth, and is designed to look and function like a natural tooth.
Dental crowns are typically made of porcelain, ceramic, metal or a combination of these materials. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages and the choice depends on the location of the tooth and the patient’s preference.
The process of getting a dental crown typically involves two or more appointments. The first appointment involves preparing the tooth by removing any decay or damage and shaping the tooth to make room for the crown. An impression of the prepared tooth and the opposite arch are then taken and sent to a dental lab where the crown is custom-made. A temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is being made. At the second appointment, the permanent crown is placed and checked for proper fit and bite.
Dental crowns can be used for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
- Restore a broken or severely worn down tooth
- Cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth left
- Hold a dental bridge in place
- Cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth
- Cover a dental implant