Protect Your Smile
A crown (also called a cap) is a man-made cover that protects the top of a tooth. It may be used to restore and preserve a decayed, broken or cracked tooth. Crowns can also correct some cosmetic tooth problems, giving you a better smile.
Why You May Need a Crown
Your dentist may advise you to get a crown if you have
A decayed or damaged tooth that needs to be restored to its normal shape and size
A cracked or broken tooth with large cavities or worn fillings
A poor-fitting crown
A tooth that has a large opening on its top surface after root canal surgery
A cosmetic tooth problem
A bite problem
Restoring your tooth with a crown may take two or three dental visits. Expect to wait two to three weeks between appointments. Make sure you follow the instructions that your dentist gives you.
Preparing the Tooth
Before preparing your tooth for a crown, your dentist may first numb the tooth with a local anesthetic. Then, the tooth is reduced and shaped. Any decay is removed. Your tooth may also need rebuilding if larger parts are missing. A mold is taken of the prepared tooth and the surrounding teeth. A temporary crown is applied to protect the prepared tooth between visits.
The mold of your teeth is sent to the lab to make your permanent crown. Meanwhile, take good care of your temporary crown. Follow the tips below
Avoid eating hard or sticky foods
Brush gently at the gumline around the temporary crown.
Carefully floss between your teeth. To remove the floss, pull it from the side of the tooth, not the top.
Fitting the Crown
Your dentist removes the temporary crown and places the permanent crown on your tooth. The crown is then fitted to make sure your bite feels normal. Once you both agree that the crown fits right, it is cemented in place. Your dentist also makes sure that the shape of your tooth has been restored. And before you know it, you are ready to eat and smile with confidence.