A crown, also called a cap, is a hollow, artificial tooth used to cover a damaged or decayed tooth. If your tooth is damaged but not lost, a crown can be used to restore its shape, appearance and function. You may need a crown if you have a root canal, a large filling in a tooth or a broken tooth.

You first need an examination with your dentist to determine if a crown is a good solution for you. He will most likely need to take an x-ray to make sure that the root of your tooth is not damaged. He will also look at the bone and the gums surrounding the tooth to make sure there is no presence of an infection. He may suggest that you get a cleaning with your dental hygienist first to make sure that your gums are thoroughly cleaned.

The treatment:

At your first appointment, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic. The tooth will then be shaped by the dentist using special instruments. He/She will take impressions of your mouth to send to a lab. The lab will fabricate a crown that will fit your mouth and your occlusion. Before sending the model to the lab, your dentist will help you choose the colour and the material for your crown. The dentist will cement a temporary crown and adjust it so that you feel comfortable until your real crown is ready.

At your second appointment, your dentist will administer a local anesthetic again. He will remove the temporary crown and cement the real crown that has been made for you in the chosen colour and material. He will adjust it to fit your mouth perfectly.

Metal crown: A metal crown is made of gold. A gold crown is very hard and durable but its appearance is not the same as one of a natural tooth.

Ceramic: This type of crown is very much like a natural tooth, but they are not as durable as the other crowns.

Porcelain Fused to Metal: This type of crown is durable and hard and it’s white but much more opaque than a natural tooth. One of the disadvantages is that with time, when your gum is receding, a black mark may appear. The black is the metal inside the crown.

Zirconia: This type of crown is more durable than the ceramic one and not as opaque as the porcelain fused to metal one. It is very durable and its appearance is much like a natural tooth.