A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a custom-made, tooth-shaped cover that is placed over a damaged or decayed tooth. Crowns are typically made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both, and they are designed to mimic the natural appearance of the tooth. They can be used to restore the shape, size, and strength of a damaged tooth, and are also used to improve the appearance of discolored or misshapen teeth.
The process of getting a dental crown typically involves several steps:
- The first step is to have an initial consultation with a dentist, during which the patient’s current oral health and needs will be evaluated.
- Next, the dentist will prepare the tooth by removing any decay or damage and shaping it to accommodate the crown. An impression of the prepared tooth and the surrounding teeth will be taken.
- A temporary crown is placed while the permanent crown is being fabricated in a dental lab.
- On the next visit, the permanent crown is tried in and adjusted as needed, and then cemented in place.
Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, such as porcelain, metal, or a combination of both. Porcelain crowns are popular because they look similar to natural teeth and are suitable for front teeth. Metal crowns are stronger, more durable, and are more suitable for back teeth, but they are not as aesthetic as porcelain crowns.
Crowns can last for many years with proper care and maintenance, which includes regular dental check-ups, good oral hygiene, and avoiding habits such as biting on hard objects. It’s also important to note that, even though a crown is a strong restoration, the tooth underneath it can still develop decay, so it’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and to see the dentist regularly.