A crown is a type of dental appliance that can help restore a tooth both structurally and cosmetically. It is like a white “cap” that your dentist will cement to your tooth. In fact, dental crowns look like your natural teeth—only they are made of porcelain, metal, and resin.
Once your dentist places a crown, it is likely that no one will be able to tell the difference between your crown and natural teeth. The only small tell may be a small piece of metal and the bottom of your crown.
Dental Crown Process
Regardless of the reason for your dental crown, your dentist will complete a full examination. This will involve a physical exam and a set of x-rays. If you need a crown due to trauma or decay, your dental team needs to see the full picture of the damage. It is possible that you may need a root canal before placing the crown. A root canal simply removes the decayed pulp from within the tooth. However, an x-ray will reveal if you need further procedures.
Before your dentist does any work on your tooth, they will numb the area completely. This ensures that you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. You may be able to feel pressure, but you shouldn’t feel any pain.
Next, they will begin to reshape the tooth in order to fit the crown. If you need a dental filling or a root canal, your dentist will need to use some sort of composite resin to give your tooth structure. Then, your dental team will take an impression of your tooth so that they can create your permanent crown. Until it is finished, you will wear a temporary crown unless your dentist can make it in-office.
When you get your permanent crown, your dentist will use dental cement to keep it in place.
Why a Crown?
One of the main reasons you would need a crown is to support a weak or broken tooth. Tooth decay can destroy your tooth—both inside and outside. If you don’t treat a cavity soon enough, it can damage the structure of your tooth, leaving it weak. Therefore, you will need a crown to support it.
Along with broken or cracked teeth, you may need a crown if your teeth have experienced premature wear and tear. As we age, our teeth naturally wear down due to physical erosion. However, bite problems and weak enamel can cause your teeth to wear faster than average. This means that you will need a dental crown to protect your teeth from decay.
There are a few cosmetic reasons why you may need a crown. Due to genetics or dental trauma, your teeth can become misshapen. One way to get rid of this issue is to replace the shape of your tooth with a dental crown. Additionally, there are several problems that can cause your teeth to become permanently discolored. Since chemical whitening treatments won’t work, you can use a dental crown to cover up or camouflage the discoloration.
Finally, many dental appliances, such as dental bridges or dental implants, use crowns to hold them in place.