Dental Crowns (caps)
A dental crown, commonly referred to as a cap, is a specially made covering that is designed to encase the entire tooth. Unlike fillings, crowns can be used to repair teeth with larger damaged areas. Dental crowns can also be used to protect weak teeth, to cover teeth that are badly discolored, or to anchor a fixed bridge. Crowns are typically very durable and although repair or replacement may become necessary at some point, in most cases crowns will last for many years with the proper care.
Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials. Since porcelain crowns are tooth-colored, they are typically the most popular choice- especially when used for front teeth or those that are more visible.
Why choose crowns?
Dental crowns (caps) are an excellent solution for a variety of dental issues. Crowns can:
- Repair teeth that are broken or cracked
- Cover teeth that are discolored
- Cover teeth that are severely decayed
- Protect teeth that have large fillings
- Be used to anchor a fixed bridge
What to Expect When Getting a Crown
The entire procedure for having a crown placed will usually require two office visits. At the first visit, the dentist will carefully clear away any areas of decay and remove any damaged fillings. A small amount of tooth will then need to be removed from the circumference of the tooth (typically 1-2mm) to allow space for the crown. Next, the dentist will take impressions of your tooth that will later be used to fabricate your new crown. You will be fitted with a temporary crown to protect your tooth while you wait for the dental laboratory technicians to create your permanent crown- a procedure that typically takes about two weeks.
At your next appointment the dentist will remove your temporary crown and clean the tooth. Your new, permanent crown will then be inserted and checked for fit, comfort and appearance. It will then be secured in place with a special dental cement. Before you leave, you will be given instructions on how to properly care for your dental crown. Remember that good oral hygiene and regular visits with the dentist will help your crown last longer.