When your teeth are decayed, broken, or fractured, it can affect both your oral health and self-confidence. A damaged tooth can also cause significant discomfort while eating. A dental crown–sometimes called ‘cap’–can help restore the appearance and function of your teeth.

A crown is essentially a custom-made cap that covers the visible surface of your tooth.  Most tooth-colored crowns are made out of strong porcelains that are fabricated in a commercial dental lab using CAD-CAM milling technology, and custom shaded or colored to match your adjacent teeth. Your dentist may recommend a crown for various reasons, including:

  • strengthening and protecting a tooth that has suffered extensive decay
  • protecting a cracked or brittle tooth from further damage
  • covering a discolored or irregularly shaped tooth

Typically, making a custom crown usually requires two appointments. During the first appointment, your dentist will reshape the tooth so that the crown fits comfortably after removing defects such as fractures and decay. If there isn’t enough healthy tooth structure, the dentist will use bonded filling material to build up the tooth and allow for an adequate foundation or core of the tooth. Next, an impression or an imaging scan is made of the tooth, and a temporary crown is placed to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is being made.

At the second appointment, the permanent crown is installed and adjusted to ensure it fits correctly before it is bonded to the tooth. Crowns are made from various materials, including metal, all-porcelain or all-ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, stainless steel, and composite resin. The choice of material will depend on various factors such as durability, natural appearance, visibility, and cost.

Crowns are a popular and effective restorative treatment that can improve both the appearance and function of your teeth. If you’re considering a crown, talk to your dentist to determine whether it’s the best option for you.

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