Dental crowns are used to fill gaps and restore a smile if your teeth are damaged or missing. Having a crown can help you chew and bite better, and can place a positive impact on the other systems in your body, for example, your digestive system.
The crown is a cap that your dentist can place on a damaged tooth, and it will restore that tooth to its previous size, shape, and function. It will make the tooth underneath stronger and do nothing but improve the way it looks.
Here are some reasons your dentist may decide you need a crown:
- You have a missing tooth and will need a firm tooth for a bridge to connect to
- You have a cavity that is too big to place a filling
- Cover over a dental implant
- Cover a cracked tooth, or otherwise weakened or worn down
- Gone through a root canal and need a crown to protect your tooth that has been restored
- Cover up a badly shaped or discolored tooth to enhance your smile.
Your crown could be composed of several different kinds of materials. Usually, it is porcelain or ceramic. Your dentist will think about where your tooth is located, how your gum tissue is positioned, ask you your preference, how much of the tooth shows when you smile, the shade and color of the afflicted tooth, and the tooth’s function before helping you decide.
There are several steps involved in placing a crown, and it usually takes two dental visits.
- The dentist will prepare your tooth by taking away its outer part so the crown will fit over it. If there is any decay, it will be removed at that time. If the tooth needs more structure to be able to support the crown, your dentist might build up the tooth core.
- The dentist will then make an impression of your tooth to use as a model for the new crown.
- You will get a temporary crown to wear while you are waiting for your permanent crown to be made which usually takes two weeks or less. During the time you have the temporary crown, the tooth might be a little sensitive to cold or hot. Try not to chew gum or other sticky foods during the time that the permanent crown is being designed
- When your new crown is ready, the dentist will place it over your tooth and make what adjustments are necessary. When it looks good and feels right, your crown will be cemented in place.
Your dentist will give you further instructions on how to care for your new crown for after you leave his office.