In comparison to fillings which just cover a small portion of a tooth, a crown (or cap) encases the entire visible portion of a tooth. In effect, the crown acts as the tooth’s new outer surface. A dental crown is implemented when a tooth is broken or decayed to the extent that fillings cannot repair the problem themselves. The crown offers a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth to help strengthen it, as well as to enhance the appearance of the tooth. They can also help restore a tooth to it’s original shape, which are commonly used for teeth that have been broken. While crowns come in different materials, the most common crowns typically have some mixture of porcelain to give them a look and feel similar to a natural tooth.
How it’s done:
Your first visit will consist of reshaping the tooth and taking impressions to create the crown. Usually, a portion of you tooth will have to be removed for the crown to properly fit. After the dentist reshapes your tooth, he will use a special material to create an impression of it. This impression will be sent to a dental laboratory to be transformed into a permanent crown. Before sending you home, the dentist will provide you with a temporary crown to cover your tooth in between visits.
Once you return to your dentist, he will have received the permanent crown from the laboratory. He will replace the temporary crown with the new permanent one, and before cementing the permanent crown in place, he will ensure that it fits comfortably and matches the color of your teeth.