A dental crown, often referred to as a “cap”, is a tooth-shaped restoration that fits over the prepared surface of a natural tooth that has been badly decayed or broken down. Crowns can be made from a variety of substances, but generally are made of a strong porcelain substrate, rendering them tooth-colored, extremely strong, and very natural looking.
Crowns are a wonderful, long-lasting, and necessary restorative option for teeth that don’t have enough tooth structure remaining to support a tooth-colored filling securely. In many cases, large fillings are not sufficient to adequately rebuild the tooth to its proper form and function, therefore a crown is recommended.
The process of getting a tooth crowned is straightforward. At the initial appointment, the dentist will numb the tooth and then gently shape it down, reducing the enamel, and removing the decayed or cracked tooth structure. If a tooth is extremely broken down, it may also be necessary to add filling material to the inner part in order to “build up” the core of the tooth that will be present to support the crown.
Once the tooth is prepared, impressions are taken and typically a temporary crown is cemented to maintain the spacing between teeth and to cover the remaining tooth structure while the permanent crown is being fabricated. The porcelain crown will be specifically made to match the color of the adjacent teeth and to fit properly in the mouth, reestablishing a healthy bite. The crown will be cemented in securely rendering full use of the tooth.
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