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What is a Crown?

A crown, also known as a ‘cap’, is an artificial cover that protects the top of a damaged tooth. It can be used to help restore or preserved a broken, decayed, or cracked tooth. Crowns can also be used as cosmetic enhancements.

Why You May Need a Crown

You may be advised to get a crown if you suffer from:

  • A decayed or damaged tooth that requires restoration
  • A cracked or broken tooth with large cavities or worn fillings
  • An existing crown that does not fit properly
  • A tooth with a large opening on its top after a root canal
  • A cosmetic tooth problem
  • A bite problem

Types of Crowns


Metal crowns are made of gold or other non-reactive metals. They are very strong and are very unlikely to ever break. They often do not match the color of your teeth (but if your teeth are golden in color, you should consider our whitening treatments), so they are not recommended for front teeth.


These crowns are made with porcelain or reinforced resin, and are easily colored to match that of your other teeth. They are, however, less durable than metal crowns and are more likely to chip.


Porcelain is fused on top of metal, giving it a tooth-colored exterior and more strength than a resin or porcelain crown. While more durable than resin or porcelain, they are not quite as strong as purely metal crowns.

The Procedure

Restorations involving a crown may require 2 or 3 dental visits. Expect to wait 2 to 3 weeks between appointments. Follow the instructions you dentist gives you to help ensure the success of the crown.

Preparing the Tooth

Before the tooth is prepared for a crown, your dentist may numb the area with a local anesthetic. The tooth is then reshaped, decay is removed, and if larger portions of a tooth are missing, rebuilding may be required. A mold is taken of the tooth and the surrounding teeth, then a temporary crown is applied to protect the tooth until the permanent crown is prepared.

Between Visits

The mold taken of your teeth will be sent to a lab to have your permanent crown made, but in the meantime, you’ll need to take care of your temporary crown. You should:

~ Avoid hard or sticky foods.
~ Brush gently at the gum line surrounding the crown.
~ Floss your teeth gently. Be sure to remove the floss from the side rather than pulling it up.

Fitting Your Crown

Your dentist will remove the temporary crown and replace it with your permanent one. He will adjust the crown to make sure you feel comfortable, and once that is accomplished, he will cement the crown in place.

Living With Your New Crown

Your new crown will help you chew more easily and give you a smile to be proud of. If you brush and floss your crown properly, it will last you a very long time. Do not neglect to make appointments with your dentist to maximize your crown’s lifespan.

Call Your Dentist If:

~ Your teeth become sensitive to hot or cold
~ Your mouth feels painful or you have a toothache
~ Your temporary or permanent crown comes loose

To learn more about Crowns or to schedule an appointment, call Vickers Family Dental today 281-440-1200!