Crowns or caps are indicated when a tooth has fractured, suffered extensive decay, lost a large filling or undergone root canal treatment. A crown restores tooth strength and natural appearance. Restoring a tooth with a crown is less costly than having to replace the tooth if it is lost. Crowns may be composed of tooth-colored ceramic (metal free), tooth-colored ceramic over precious metal, or all gold. The option selected will depend on the location of the specific teeth. Gold or precious metal over ceramic are preferred on back teeth where strength is important, and all ceramic crowns are preferred on teeth where esthetics are a priority.
Two appointments are usually sufficient. During the first appointment, Dr. Priest removes decay and shapes the tooth, makes an impression of the prepared tooth, selects the color for the crown and places a temporary crown. During preparation, the tooth is reduced approximately one to one and one-half millimeters. Dr. Priest provides detailed instructions to the laboratory technicians to ensure the proper form and color. During the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is cemented in place. Minor adjustments are made to ensure an accurate fit and comfortable bite.
Benefits of crowns:
- Restores natural appearance
- Prevents tooth loss
- Replaces lost tooth structure
- Less costly than tooth replacement