Over time our teeth begin to weaken and become more susceptible to problems such as cracks, decay, and discoloration. If you feel your smile isn't what it once was, crowns can help you recover your smile. Also, if your dentist notices that a tooth is decayed or seems weakened/cracked, a crown may be necessary to prevent further problems or even the loss of the tooth. In cases where a crown is warranted, a large filling may not be sufficient.
The process of installing a crown takes 2-3 visits to the office. On the first visit the tooth will be reshaped by filing down the enamel so that the crown can be placed over it. You will be given a local anesthetic before this part of the procedure so that you do not experience any discomfort. Once the tooth has been reshaped, an impression will be taken of that tooth and the surrounding teeth. This impression will be sent to a dental lab so that your new crown can be made so that it fits in the spot created for it and looks the same relative to the surrounding teeth. Before leaving, you dentist will fit you with a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready.
The crown takes about 2 weeks to be fabricated in the lab. At this time, you will have another appointment to place and fit the permanent crown. You will again have a local anesthetic to numb the area, and the crown will be cemented into place.