Also known as a cap, a crown is like a helmet for a tooth that protects it from breaking. It also restores the form and function of a tooth that has badly broken down due to decay or trauma.
The most common reasons why a tooth needs a crown are:
- After a root canal treatment. This is because most often, the tooth needing root canal treatment will have been significantly damaged by decay or fracture. Thus reinforcement with a crown is necessary for the long-term survival of the tooth.
- There is a fracture in the tooth due to the forces of chewing and grinding.
- The tooth has a history of large and/or multiple fillings and is now very weak.
The process of getting a dental crown typically involves several steps. First the dentist will prepare and reshape the damaged tooth. They will then take an impression or a 3D scan of the tooth which is sent to a dental laboratory.
A trained dental technician will create a custom-made crown that fits precisely over the prepared tooth. While the permanent crown is being made, the dentist may place a temporary crown to protect the tooth. Once the permanent crown is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent crown onto the prepared tooth using a special adhesive.
With proper care and maintenance, dental crowns can last for many years. It is important to brush and floss regularly to prevent decay or damage to the tooth underneath the crown. Overall, dental crowns are a common and effective way to restore, reinforce and add life to damaged teeth that may otherwise need to be extracted.