A dental crown (cap) is a restoration that covers the entire tooth. Because it completely surrounds the tooth, it serves to hold the tooth together and protect it. A tooth might be diagnosed as needing a crown for any one of several reasons including…..
- extensive loss of tooth structure from decay
- large existing restoration that is failing (leaking)
- the tooth has a fracture(s)
- the tooth has had root canal therapy
- to correct occlusion (your bite)
- as part of a full mouth reconstruction.
If any of these conditions exists, the dentist will tell you that your tooth should have a crown. In some cases, a crown may be required in order to save the tooth from needing to be extracted at a later date. Placing a crown on a tooth almost always improves the esthetics of the tooth also. The crown edge meets with the tooth under the gums so that it looks like your natural tooth. Crowns can be beautiful restorations that last many years, possibly even decades.
How is a Crown Done?
Your tooth will be numbed first. Then the dentist will remove all of the existing filling and any decay from the tooth. The tooth will be built back up to a solid core with special filling material. Next, the tooth perimeter and top of the tooth will be reduced to make room for the crown to be placed over the tooth. There must be enough tooth structure removed to allow room for the crown to be thick enough to be strong and yet not be too bulky for the space it is placed into. Once the tooth has been “prepared” as described, an impression will be made. This impression is sent to a lab where your crown is custom fabricated. *Note – Dr. Kenny has used the same Dallas-based lab since 1989.* While your crown is being made (this takes about 2 weeks), you will have a temporary crown covering your tooth. When you return to have your new crown delivered, you may not even have to be numbed (this is determined by the dentist on a case-by-case basis). Once your crown is cemented on the tooth, you should care for it just like your other natural teeth. After all, your natural tooth IS still there under the cover and protection of your beautiful new crown.