Crowns require a more involved procedure than either veneers or bonding but can be the perfect choice to correct certain dental problems. Sometimes teeth are decayed or damaged to such an extent that veneers or bonding approaches will not work. If a tooth has lost more than three-quarters of its tooth material because of a large, old filling or through decay, then a crown is usually recommended. The crown provides better protection from breaking or chipping and preserves the functionality of the tooth. Crowns are also needed to complete a dental implant.
To prepare the tooth for a crown, the dentist removes the old filling and the decay and shapes the tooth into a smaller version of itself called a ‘core’, removing material from the top and sides. Next, when the permanent crown has been completed and returned from the laboratory, it is fitted over and cemented to this core. The core serves as a natural ‘anchor’ that holds the crown in place.
The crown itself is prepared from a detailed impression made by the dentist and may be constructed of porcelain, zirconia, or metal. While the crown is out at a dental laboratory being prepared, a dental assistant will create a temporary crown to protect your damaged tooth.
Upon completion of the permanent crown, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown into place. Once this procedure is completed, the patient regains the functionality, look, and feel of the original tooth. Crowns are used for cosmetic dentistry as well as routine general dentistry. The appearance of the crown fits perfectly with the remainder of your teeth and, when combined with other cosmetic procedures, helps enhance and beautify your smile. Want to see the improvements crowns can make? Check out these before and after photos.