A dental crown is a covering that encircles and reinforces a weakened or broken tooth. Some situations when crowns are recommended are:
- After a root canal
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Teeth with cracks
- Teeth with large fillings (more than ½ of the chewing surface is filling)
- Teeth with accelerated wear
Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns reinforce the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and are often much more difficult to treat. Crowns help prevent this, and also make for a nice smile.
It takes two appointments to restore a tooth with a crown. In the first, any decay is removed from the tooth and it is shaped to accept the crown. Then, an impression is made of the tooth for use in fabricating a crown. Between the two visits, the crown is made, usually using very strong ceramic material, or gold. During this time, a temporary crown is worn. Then the permanent crown is applied, adjusted as needed, and cemented in place.