Your dentist may recommend that you undergo a tooth crown procedure for one of several reasons: you have a particularly weak tooth that needs to be held together or requires a bridge; you have a tooth that is extremely discolored; or you wish to have a tooth crown placed for cosmetic reasons.
There are several types of tooth crowns that can be used, including ceramic, porcelain, resin, and stainless steel (cosmetic tooth crowns are usually made of porcelain or ceramic). Since, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), there are pros and cons for each type, you should have your dentist address your specific situation and make a recommendation on which is best for your tooth.
The procedure for installing a tooth crown normally takes two separate dentist visits. At your first appointment, your dentist will examine the tooth to make sure that it can support a crown, then begin filing it down to prepare for the crown. Alternatively, if the tooth is severely damaged or broken, your dentist may need to fill it in to make it large enough to properly receive the crown.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, after the tooth is filed or filled to the proper shape, your practitioner will take an impression of the tooth, as well as those surrounding it, and send it away to a dental lab, so the permanent tooth crown can be made accordingly. By the end of this first visit, your tooth will have a new temporary crown that protects it until the final crown is ready to be permanently placed.
When the permanent tooth crown is ready, you will have your second visit. At this appointment, the temporary crown is removed, after which the dentist will position and fasten the new tooth crown with a special adhesive.
Once your tooth crown procedure is complete, it may take some getting used to before the permanent tooth crown feels normal in your mouth; however, after a little time has passed, the tooth crown should look, function, and feel like a regular tooth. If you have any questions about your crown after your procedure, be sure to talk to your dentist.