If you have recently learned that you have a badly broken, damaged, or infected tooth, our dentist may recommend having a dental crown placed. A crown or tooth-shaped “cap” is a fixed prosthetic cemented onto a tooth to restore its appearance, form and function as well as strengthen the tooth. Dental crowns cover a tooth’s entire surface, and when treatment is completed, it will look like your surrounding teeth. When Crowns are Used While dental veneers are used to correct small chips or cracks in the teeth and a dental implant is used to replace a missing tooth, dental crowns are used for fixing teeth with severe decay or a dental filling that is compromised and doesn’t protect the tooth anymore. Crowns are also placed after a root canal, wisdom tooth extraction or to secure a dental bridge restoration by anchoring the adjacent natural teeth. When a dental crown is used after a root canal, it gives extra support to the tooth and lessens the risk of retreatment. There are various types of dental crown materials. The sealing ability is dependent on the filling materials used and the quality of the tooth that is used. – Ceramic crowns: These are popular as they blend in with the surrounding natural teeth and are highly resistant to wear. – Crowns made from porcelain fused to metal: These are highly durable and offer a strong seal because of their attachment to the metal. – Crown made of gold alloys: These are made of a blend of gold, copper and other metals, ensuring a strong bond to the tooth that cannot fracture or wear away the tooth. – Crowns made of base metal alloys: These are strongly resistant to corrosion and are very strong in general. They require the least amount of healthy tooth removal before placement. The Making of Your Crown Unless you are having a crown made on the same day, the making of a dental crown typically requires two visits. The tooth will need to be reduced in size so the crown will fit correctly, and then an impression will be made of the crown. While waiting for your crown to be made, a temporary crown is put in place. When the dental crown is ready, at your followup visit the crown will be cemented onto the affected tooth. Caring For Your Crown Since your crown is created to blend into your smile naturally, people around you will likely not even notice you have had a tooth replacement done. If you take good care of your crown by practicing consistent, daily oral hygiene habits, you can avoid the crown becoming loose or falling out. Brushing and flossing twice a day along with regular professional dental cleanings and checkups can keep your teeth (particularly the back molars) healthy and strong so your crown can last a lifetime! If you would like to know if a crown is right for you, we invite you to give us a call and schedule a consultation with our dentist. We will be happy to help you and your smile today!