A crown (or cap) is a covering that is cemented or bonded over and completely surrounds a damaged tooth. Crowns help to strengthen teeth damaged by decay, trauma (chips or cracks), or in root canal treatment, among others issues. Crowns also help to improve a mouths shape, appearance, or alignment thereby improving the bite in certain malocclusions.
A crown may be recommended to:
- Restore a fractured tooth
- Restore a tooth with a large amount of decay
- Improve a bite
- Improve the appearance of damaged, discolored, misshapen, or poorly spaced teeth
- Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment
- Attach a bridge
- Replace a broken filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to do another filling
- Safeguard and protect a weak tooth to avoid fracturing
- Cover a dental implant
There are two (2) methods for creating crowns and veneers. The CAD/CAM method and the Lab method:
- The CAD/CAM method is usually done in 1 visit. After the tooth is treated and shaped, a 3 Dimensional scan is taken of the restored area. The crown or veneer is then digitally designed and the data is sent to a computerized mill that creates the crown or veneer on the spot. The permanent crown or veneer will be presented for your approval of the size, shape and color, then prepped and seated. This is all done in the dental office in about 2 hours, and the patient leaves with their permanent crown or veneer.
- The lab method has two (2) phases that require 2 separate visits, the preparation phase and the delivery phase. On the preparation phase, an impression of the area is taken and the tooth is shaped. This impression is sent out to a dental lab that will design and create the crown or veneer. A temporary crown or veneer with temporary cement will be placed to protect the treated area while the dental lab creates the crown or veneer, which usually takes 2 weeks. On the delivery phase, the permanent crown or veneer will be presented for your approval of the size, shape and color. Once you approve the permanent crown or veneer, the crown or veneer is seated (or placed) in the treated area with special long lasting dental cement.