Crowns To Restore Teeth

Dental crowns—or caps, as they’re sometimes called—are often necessary to restore teeth. We have many years of experience placing dental crowns that are custom designed to fit your mouth and are virtually undetectable. We use only proven, high-quality materials and dental labs for our crown work.

What Is a Crown?

A crown is a tooth restoration made of zirconia, ceramic, or metal that’s designed to protect healthy tooth structure. It re-creates your original tooth shape, covers the underlying portion of your tooth, and helps prevent that part from breaking. With proper care, a dental crown will provide a long-lasting solution to a broken, fractured, or decayed tooth.

Why Do You Need One?

When we diagnose a crown to restore a tooth rather than a filling, it’s because we know a filling will not work. A filling isn’t meant to re-create large portions of a tooth. Crowns strengthen and repair your tooth’s structure, even improving its color, shape, and alignment.

chipped tooth

We typically recommend a crown for these dental conditions:

  • Decay beneath a large filling
  • Broken filling that has been repaired multiple times
  • Large amalgam (silver) filling that has worn down and is leaking (meaning the amalgam is pulling away from the tooth surface)
  • Large piece of tooth broken off
  • Crack or multiple cracks visible in your tooth
  • Cracked Tooth syndrome (pain when biting down on a tooth)
  • Root canal

Every time your tooth is filled, a certain amount of tooth structure has to be removed in order to place the filling. So if your tooth has been filled multiple times over the years, or you have a large filling that has broken or has decay beneath it, there will be very little tooth structure left for us to work with. When that happens, we can’t create a bond between the filling material and the small amount of remaining tooth structure—and so a new filling will fail.

Cracks and fractures—both visible and unseen—have already weakened your tooth. Your biting force will continue to weaken the crack or fracture as time passes (which is why an unseen crack will reveal itself as pain when biting down) and will require a crown to protect it and allow it to function normally again.

A root canal, while solving the problem of infection and pain, leaves your tooth brittle. Once the inflamed roots have been removed, the tooth itself is no longer vital and becomes brittle and prone to breaking and needs to be protected with a crown.

dental crowns before and after photo

The Procedure

Placing a crown typically requires only two visits to our office.

First Visit: Crown Prep

  • We take an initial impression of your tooth’s shape and size to use for making a temporary crown.
  • We prepare or “prep” your tooth by removing any decay and old fillings along with the outer portion of your tooth to accommodate the thickness of the crown.
  • If we find there isn’t enough tooth structure once the decay has been removed, we will use a filling material to sufficiently build up the tooth to support the crown. This procedure is known as a “core buildup” and is typically necessary after having a root canal.
  • We take a final impression to provide our lab with an exact model of the prepped tooth along with your tooth shade.
  • We then use the initial impression we took to make a temporary crown that will protect your tooth until your permanent crown is ready.

Second Visit: Crown Seat

dental crown illustration

This appointment typically occurs about two weeks after your first appointment to allow enough time for our lab to make your crown.

  • We remove the temporary crown and try in your new permanent crown to make sure it fits perfectly.
  • Once we—and you—are satisfied that the crown fits as it should and the shade is exactly what we want, we will cement it in place with permanent cement.

After Care

We want you to take good care of your new crown—click here for After Crown and Bridge Procedures.

dental crowns before and after photo