A crown is a tooth-shaped cover placed over a tooth that is badly damaged or decayed. Many people call it a cap.
Crowns may be placed for several reasons. Usually the tooth has been broken or severely damaged by decay. As a result, a filling can’t replace enough of the tooth or make the tooth strong enough. It also can be used to hold a bridge in place. Crowns can be used to improve appearance as well. They may be placed to cover misshapen or badly discolored teeth.
Crowns usually last at least 7 years. In many cases they last much longer, up to 40 years or so. In many cases the crown is fine, but the tooth underneath it has developed a cavity. Therefore, maintaining good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, will help your crown last longer.
Preparing the Tooth
If a cavity is present and reaches the pulp of the tooth where the nerve of the tooth is located, root canal treatment may be needed on the tooth before a crown is placed.
Placing a crown is usually a two-visit process. On your first visit, Dr. Straka will make an impression of the tooth using a rubber-like material that sets in about five minutes. Then he will make an impression of the teeth above or below the tooth that will receive the crown in order to make sure the crown will fit into your normal bite. These impressions will be sent to the lab where the crown will be made.
Then he will prepare the tooth to make room for the crown. Finally, he will make and place a temporary crown over the tooth which will stay in place until the permanent one can be placed.
On your second visit, Dr. Straka will remove the temporary crown and test the permanent one. Sometimes a crown will need more adjustments such as polishing or glazing before it can be placed. Once the crown is ready, Dr. Straka will permanently cement it on your tooth.