Dental crowns are a treatment used for both cosmetic and restorative purposes. In some cases, a cosmetic dentist will recommend crowns for damaged teeth or for other aesthetic issues. In recent years, however, veneers are used more often for cosmetic issues that were previously treated with crowns.
When a tooth is severely damaged, suffers from extensive decay, or has undergone a root canal treatment, a dental crown helps keep the tooth intact and usable. For example, if a tooth is cracked or broken off, a crown can replace the tooth’s chewing or biting surface. Otherwise the tooth might need to be extracted.
One important use for a dental crown is to preserve a tooth after a root canal. A root canal procedure removes the pulp and nerve from the center of the tooth, usually because it is infected or because the tooth has been severely damaged or has decayed extensively. After the root canal is performed, the dentist places a crown over the tooth so that it will continue to be usable for many years.
A dental crown requires a two-step procedure. First, the dentist makes a mold of your tooth. The tooth is slightly altered in order to accommodate the crown. A mold is made of the prepared tooth prior to placing a temporary crown.
The molds are sent to a laboratory that specializes in making crowns and other dental restorations. This usually takes a few days. When the permanent crown returns, the dentist will remove your temporary crown and replace it with the custom made crown.
Crowns can be made from metal, porcelain, or metal covered with porcelain, depending upon your individual needs. Metal crowns are more commonly used on back teeth where they must stand up to chewing pressure. For front teeth, porcelain crowns are favored because of their more natural appearance.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our Surrey BC office.