A dental crown is simply a covering place over part or all of a tooth. It can be made of porcelain, a metal alloy such as gold, or a combination of porcelain and metal.
A crown is necessary when your tooth is too weak to withstand normal chewing forces, or when a pleasing appearance is not attainable by any other means. In most cases, the tooth has been weakened by decay, extensive fillings, or a fracture.
Two visits are needed to crown a tooth. During the first visit, the tooth is "prepared" or reshaped. This involves the removal of the outer enamel layer.
In addition, decay and weak filling materials are removed, and the tooth may require strengthening with a "post" or "build-up". An impression is made of the newly prepared tooth, and a temporary crown is made to protect the tooth while the actual crown is being fabricated in the laboratory. All of this is accomplished while your tooth is "numb" by the use of anesthetic, and we expect no discomfort.
You may chew anything you wish while the temporary crown is in place, but it is wise to avoid very sticky foods, as well as chewing gum. The temporary crown is custom made for you and fits very well, but in the rare instance that it should loosen or feel uncomfortable, please let us know so that it can be recemented or adjusted as soon as possible.
At the second visit, the temporary crown is gently removed, and after the actual crown is adjusted to a precise fit, it is cemented into place.
So that's a crown. It preserves a long-lasting, beautiful tooth and smile that might otherwise be lost.