A crown (or cap) is a covering that encases the entire tooth surface, restoring it to its original shape and size. A crown protects and strengthens tooth structure that cannot be restored with fillings or other types of restorations. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, decayed, have large fillings or fractured fillings, have root canals or for cosmetic enhancement.
Crowns are highly durable and will last many years, but like most dental restorations, they willl eventually need to be replaced. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are the most esthetic as they mimic the translucency of natural teeth. Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns offer esthetics and strength. Full gold crowns (FGC) are very biocompatible. The dentist can discuss which material would be most appropriate for your tooth.
A crown procedure requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include the dentist preparing the tooth(while it is numb) by removing any decay/rebuilding any tooth structure that has been fractured and shaping the tooth surface to accomodate the crown. A highly accurate impression of your prepared tooth is taken, which allows a dental laboratory technician to fabricate your new crown. A temporary crown will be placed with temporary cement and your bite will be checked to ensure that you are biting properly. At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed and the new crown will be placed. Your dentist will carefully evaluate all aspects of your new crown to ensure that the spacing, bite and esthetics are accurate.