Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are used to save a tooth that has lost too much of its hard enamel. Cavities and decay destroy the enamel and expose the soft tissue and nerves underneath. This is what gives you a toothache. If the cavity is small it can be cleaned out and then filled. In some cases, there is not enough hard enamel left to hold a filling and the only options are to either remove the tooth completely or place a dental crown over the entire tooth.

About the Procedure

If the nerves inside the tooth are healthy, then a dental crown can be used to save a decayed tooth with these steps:

  1. The dentist will make an impression of the tooth.
  2. Then the dentist will remove any decay and shape the tooth to accept a dental crown or “cap”.
  3. A temporary crown will be made and fitted right then with a firm adhesive, but not a final adhesive.
  4. A final crown will then be made for you. Porcelain and gold are some popular materials to use in making final crowns.
  5. You will then make a new appointment to see the dentist and get the final crown seated.
  6. The dentist will seat the final dental crown and bond it permanently to your tooth.

After Your Temporary Crown is Secured

Once you have your temporary crown, it should feel just like a normal tooth. You can eat and smile normally. However, do not delay on getting your final crown fitted because temporary crowns do not use a permanent adhesive. It takes time and specialized equipment to make a dental crown that will last a long time. Dental crowns have to stand up to the pressure of biting and chewing and they have to be strong. After about 2 weeks you are at risk of having the adhesive fail where the crown may come off. Food and saliva can get in the actual tooth and cause negative effects. Additionally, a temporary crown can come off completely and leave your tooth exposed to decay. This can cause the tooth to have even less enamel to protect it.