Crowns serve mainly to protect the teeth. Teeth that have suffered great loss of structure due to a large cavity, or have broken due to weakeness or an accident, may need extra protection to avoid further loss of the tooth structure, pain, root canal therapy, or even tooth removal (extraction). Some dentists may use crowns to modify the shape of teeth, the color, or even modify the whole smile.
A crown is a cap that goes completely on top and around the tooth, like a hat goes on top of the head. The thickness of the crown needs to be removed from the top and around the tooth for the crown to fit on. That’s why after a crown preparation, the tooth looks smaller.
No. With a few exceptions, a temporary crown will be placed on the tooth that was prepared for a crown. It is usually made of a weaker material like resin or acrylic, and it is placed with a temporary cement. It’s not recommended to eat anything hard or sticky when you have a temp crown; it could break or come off.
Crowns are very made of strong materials. It could be porcelain, zirconia, metal alloys, or a combination of those. Each case is different, and the dentist evaluates which it is the proper material for each case.
Like most procedures in the dental office, you will not feel anything during a crown prep because it requires anesthesia; the working area will be numb. In some cases, a mild discomfort may happen on the gums after the numbness wears off. In a few days the discomfort will go away.
Most crowns are schedule to be delivered from a period of one to two weeks after the initial crown preparation appointment.
A crown is actually a long term investment on your health; it keeps your tooth from further damage. It requires technical skills from the dentist and refined artistic skills from a lab technician, and materials of excellent quality that will last many years. Each dental office has their own fee for a crown, and they will discuss the price at the time of the treatment plan.