When decay or damage to the surface of a tooth becomes significant, the recommended treatment option for saving the tooth is the placement of a dental crown.
With a dental crown, the damaged tooth structure is reduced and a custom-made tooth (or "crown") is bonded to its surface. Crowns are also often used to anchor dental bridges -- structures that replace missing teeth.
When damage to the tooth extends to the foundation (root) of the tooth, a bridge or dental implant may be a better solution. We will discuss your options for restorations with you after your initial examination.
Crowns are most commonly made of porcelain or porcelain bonded to metal (usually gold). Crowns are fashioned in a dental laboratory by trained technicians to provide the same strength and appearance as a healthy tooth.
First, we will remove any decay and shape your tooth to receive a dental crown. The crown must be thick enough to withstand chewing, which means that the natural tooth below the crown must be reduced.
We will then take an impression of your tooth and note how your teeth fit together. You will then be fitted with a temporary crown while the permanent one is constructed in a dental lab. Our lab is now able to make crowns that fit perfectly with your bite, and look like natural teeth. They will match the color of the crown to your own natural tooth color.
On a second visit, your temporary crown will be taken off and the fit of the new crown carefully checked. The final crown is then cemented in place, restoring the tooth to its natural strength, appearance and function.