Dental crowns are used to help restore the appearance and function of chipped, cracked, or otherwise badly damaged teeth. A crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that fits directly over a damaged tooth. It fits entirely over the tooth from the top down to the gum line. There are several reasons why a crown might be needed, including:
- Protect a weak tooth, or holding together a cracked tooth
- Restore a broken or worn down tooth
- Hold a dental bridge in place
- Cover a support a tooth with a large filling, when there is not enough tooth material left
- Cover misshapen or discolored teeth
- Cover dental implants
- Cover a tooth which has had a root canal
What is the procedure for getting a dental crown?
The dentist will examine and prepare the tooth. Radiographs (x-rays) may be taken to check the roots of the tooth and the surrounding bone. If the radiograph shows extensive decay, or if there is a risk of infection or injury to the tooth’s center core, a root canal may be performed first.
Patients are given a local anesthetic so that they are comfortable and do not feel any pain. When the patient is numb, the dentist works on removing a small portion of the tooth enamel in order to accommodate the crown.
Next, the dentist will create an impression of the tooth which will be used to create a custom crown that fits as exactly as possible. A temporary crown is put on and worn while the permanent crowns are being made.
When the new crown is ready, the temporary crown is taken off and replaced. The permanent crown is fitted to the tooth and cemented securely into place.