A dental crown is a common tool for dental restorations. Crowns are generally used to repair teeth that have experienced extensive decay or severe damage. They are also used to protect a tooth that has been treated with root canal therapy. Less commonly, a crown can be used to improve the appearance of a tooth that is heavily stained, asymmetrical, or otherwise unattractive.
Uses for Crowns
Although they were once used for cosmetic purposes, crowns are generally reserved now for restorations of damaged or decayed teeth. The most common uses for crowns include:
- Treating a tooth with decay too severe for a filling
- Restoring a decayed tooth that has already been treated with a filling
- Anchoring a bridge for tooth replacement
- Restoring a tooth after root canal therapy
Sometimes, a dentist might use a crown for a cosmetic treatment, but this is less common than it was in the past. Less invasive cosmetic treatments are now available, so crowns are generally reserved for restorations.
How is a Crown Placed?
A crown is generally placed in a two-step process. First the tooth is treated—any decayed areas are removed, and the tooth is precisely reshaped to make room for the crown. In the case of a crown and bridge, this can mean reshaping a healthy tooth in order to anchor a replacement for a tooth that has been extracted or otherwise lost.
After the tooth has been reshaped, your dentist will take a mold, which is used to make the permanent crown. The mold is sent to an off-site lab that specializes in creating crowns. It usually takes a few days for the crown to be manufactured. During this time, your tooth will be protected with a temporary crown. The temporary crown is removed when the permanent one arrives, and the permanent crown is set into place with a powerful adhesive. After your tooth is completely restored, it will be strong enough to hold up to everyday biting and chewing pressures, and will serve you for many years to come.
For more information about what dental crowns can do, contact us at Westside Dental Group!