A dental crown is a restoration that fits over the entire visible portion of the tooth, providing added protection and strength while also improving the appearance of the tooth and the aesthetics of the smile. Dental crowns have many applications, including:
Crowns can be made of many different materials, including gold and other metals, porcelain, composite resin and zirconia, and insurance coverage and out-of-pocket costs can vary depending on the material that’s selected and the individual dental plan.
Crowns typically require two visits. Because a crown fits over the existing tooth, the first step in crown placement is to remove a small portion of the tooth surface material in order to make room for the crown’s thickness so the crown feels comfortable and other teeth are not crowded. This process can be performed using a local anesthetic. Next, an impression is made of the tooth and sent to the lab where the crown will be made. If the crown is tooth-colored, the tint will also be selected at this time. A temporary crown will be placed over the tooth to protect it. At the second visit, the temporary crown will be removed and the tooth will be carefully cleaned. The crown is attached to the tooth surface using a strong dental adhesive, then gently shaped so it fits comfortably.
Crowns should be cared for like natural teeth, with regular brushing and flossing and routine checkups to ensure it stays in good shape. Although crowns are stain-resistant, it’s also a good idea to rinse after having foods or drinks known to cause stains.
With proper care, most crowns can last for 10 to 20 years, depending on the material.
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