Dental crowns, also referred to as “caps” are used to restore a tooth back to health. When a tooth has a large amount of decay, there may not be enough sound tooth structure to support a large filling, and then the next step is to crown the tooth. There are different types of crowns. Some crowns are made completely out of porcelain, while others have an outer porcelain shell underlined with a metal substructure. There are occasions when gold crowns may be the best dental restoration for a particular clinical case. Your general dentist will perform a comprehensive evaluation and recommend the best type of crown for your dental needs.
Getting a crown involves two dental appointments. At the first visit, the general dentist must remove the decayed portion of the tooth. An impression of your teeth is obtained in order for the dental lab to generate a perfect crown that will look and feel like your natural tooth. A temporary crown fabricated out of plastic is made to protect the tooth the dentist cleaned up, and is cemented with temporary cement so that you can resume normal eating and chewing habits. About 2 weeks after the initial appointment, you return for the second and usually final visit. At this second visit, the temporary crown is removed, and the permanent crown fabricated by the dental lab is cemented on with permanent cement.
There are occasions when more than two visits should be anticipated. When placing crowns on front teeth, your general or cosmetic dentist will be very particular about matching the new crown to adjacent teeth. This may require additional “shade try in” visits, so that the color match will be perfect, and no one will be able to tell the crowned tooth from your natural teeth. If you need a crown on your front teeth, it is wise to schedule a consultation appointment in which your dentist or patient care coordinator can review the portfolio of aesthetic crowns placed by the dentist. This is a great opportunity to ask questions about the procedure.