A crown is needed in a variety of situations such as tooth breakage, tooth weakness, when there is a large amount of decay, over an implant or to help support a bridge. A crown is a restoration that covers, or “caps” a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size. Crowns come in a variety of materials including metal, gold, porcelain fused to metal and porcelain. It is up to the patient and the dentist to choose the material that works best for the them.
Single crowns require two appointments with the doctor. During the first appointment, the doctor shapes or does a build up on the tooth in preparation for the crown. A digital scan of the area is taken and sent to the lab so the permanent crown can be fabricated. A temporary crown is made at the office and cemented on the tooth structure. This protects the tooth while the lab makes the permanent crown. In about three weeks the patient returns to the office and the permanent crown is placed.
Once the crown is finished and cemented over the remaining tooth structure, the root and crown become one unit. How long a crown lasts depends on the home care and chewing habits of the patient, and if a patient has a clenching and grinding habit. All of these factors are discussed with the doctor to ensure each patient gets the maximum lifespan out of each crown placed.