When is a Dental Crown Needed?

Dental crowns have many uses when it comes to addressing dental issues. It is a versatile treatment that can be used restoratively as well as cosmetically.

Uses of a Dental Crown

Dental crowns can be placed to correct a variety of dental problems, such as:

  • To protect a tooth that has been weakened by decay or breakage
  • After a tooth has been treated with a root canal to prevent enamel and/or tooth fracture
  • To rebuild unusually worn teeth
  • To repair a decayed tooth when a filling is not sufficient
  • To support a dental bridge
  • To cover a misshapen or severely discolored tooth
  • To cover a dental implant

Placing a Dental Crown

Crowns can be made entirely of tooth-colored ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or metal alloys. The material used depends on what the crown is being used to treat, where it will be placed in the mouth, and how visible it will be when smiling or speaking.

The procedure to place a dental crown normally takes two dental visits about two weeks apart. During the first appointment, the tooth is prepared to receive the crown by having any decayed or damaged portions removed. It must also be reshaped in order to make room for the crown to fit comfortably. This requires a portion of the tooth enamel to be filed down. Impressions are then taken of the tooth, which is sent to a dental laboratory where the crown is created. While waiting for the permanent crown to come in, a temporary one will be placed onto the prepared tooth.

Once the crown is finished, a second appointment will be needed to have the temporary crown removed and the permanent one bonded to the tooth. The dentist will make adjustments as needed to create the perfect fit.

Care of a Dental Crown

Crowns require the same care as natural teeth, meaning daily brushing and flossing, as well as regularly scheduled dental check-ups. With proper care, dental crowns can last for years.