Crowns (also called caps) are a tooth-like covering used to restore and support teeth, and help you maintain a balanced occlusion.
Crowns are placed over teeth similar to how a thimble fits over a finger.
Crowns are placed if the tooth is fractured, if there is an existing filling that covers more than half of the tooth, after a root canal is done, or to change the shape, size or color of a tooth.
Crowns can be made from non-precious metals or gold, a combination of metals with porcelain, or from pure porcelain. The choice of materials depends on your preferences and your dentist's recommendation.
The crown fits over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Single crowns are advised when a large portion of the tooth is damaged.
Crowns are generally completed in two visits. On the first visit, the tooth is sculpted into a specific shape, an impression is made and a temporary crown fabricated and placed over the tooth. The impression is sent to a dental lab where the crown is custom made for every case. On the second appointment, generally two weeks after the first, the temporary is removed, the tooth cleaned and disinfected and the permanent crown is cemented.
After a few days, the crown should feel similar to a real tooth. Remember, it is possible to develop cavities around the margins of a crown. Brushing, flossing and regular dental checkups are all the care crowns require to continue functioning for many years.
Most crowns are made of porcelain, a stain-resistant material that closely replicates the appearance and function of natural teeth.