A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked; crowns may also be placed over dental implants to replace missing teeth. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin, zirconia (an all white metal) or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, although it is often less durable.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
- Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
- Shaping the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
- Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
- Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the period when the permanent crown is being created.
- Applying the permanent crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
- After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.
This process generally consists of a minimum of 2-3 visits over a three to four week period.
Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.