What it solves
Dental crowns restore the function and integrity of missing tooth structure, which can be caused by dental cavities or external trauma, such as chipping or cracking a tooth. Dental crowns are necessary when a tooth has had significant damage and can’t be adequately restored with just a filling. A crown can protect a weak tooth from fracturing. And it can also prevent a cracked tooth from further damage. Crowns can cover discolored or misshapen teeth for a more pleasing, natural smile.
How Is It Done
The dental crown procedure first involves numbing the tooth with local anesthesia. If the tooth has been fractured or had a root canal treatment, it will first need to have a buildup — a filling that restores enough of the tooth for the crown to hold onto. Then the tooth is shaved down to make room for the crown and an impression is made of the prepared tooth with a putty-like substance or a digital scanner.
The dentist will then determine the shade of the patient's teeth using a shade guide or take pictures of the teeth to help the lab technician make crowns that will match the rest of the patient's teeth. A temporary crown is made from a resin or acrylic material using a molding or stent of the original tooth. This temporary crown is cemented with temporary cement so that it can come off easily once the permanent crown is ready.
Later, the patient returns for a second visit. During this visit, the tooth may or may not need to be numbed again and the temporary crown is removed. The permanent crown is placed on the tooth and inspected for acceptable fit, bite, and smooth margins. After any necessary adjustments have been performed, the crown is cemented with a permanent cement or glue. Ceramic dental crowns provide better natural color match than any other crown type and may be more suitable for people with metal allergies.