Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as decay, cracks, discoloration and others. If your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked, a crown may be necessary to protect and restore the tooth. In cases like this a filling or bonding will not be sufficient.
Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, zirconia or gold. The process of installing a crown takes 2-3 visits to the dentist. On the first visit the tooth will be shaped so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been shaped, an impression will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This impression will be sent to the dental lab so that your new crown can be custom made. Before leaving, your dentist will fit you with a temporary crown until your final crown is ready.
The final crown takes about 2-3 weeks to be returned to your dentist from the lab. The new crown will be placed using a cement to ensure it remains in place. Crowns are durable and you should care for it as you would any of your other teeth with regular brushing and flossing.