Dental Crowns

What is dental crown and when would I need one?

A dental crown (also known as a “cap”) is a restoration that we use when a tooth is no longer a good candidate for a traditional filling and when we need to restore and protect teeth that have undergone endodontic treatment (root canal). There are many types of materials that we can use for crowns, and we will discuss some of these materials below.

Emax all-porcelain crowns

8 Emax porcelain crowns

How long does it take to make a dental crown?

A dental crown usually takes approximately two visits to make. At the first appointment we prepare (shape) the tooth for the crown, replace any missing tooth structure with materials that are similar to the ones we use when bonding teeth, and we take a mold. You will leave the office with a temporary crown in place.  At the second visit, we will cement the real crown with definitive cement.

Zirconia all-ceramic crowns

What are crowns made from?

The materials we use depends upon the clinical situation. PFM crowns (porcelain-fused-to-metal) have been used successfully for decades.  They’re especially well-suited for back teeth. On front teeth, we typically use the best and strongest porcelain crowns.  Zirconia and Emax are both beautiful and strong all-ceramic crowns, which we use when esthetics are critical.

PFM crowns

PFM crowns

How long will a crown last?

Crowns are designed to last for many, many years and must be kept clean in order maximize their benefit. However, nothing lasts forever, and people often ask how long crowns last.  Many people don’t realize it but cavities can still form around the edges of even the most well-made crown, and as such proper brushing and flossing are important. Once a tooth has a crown and has had root canal treatment, home care and regular 6-month checkups are especially critical.  Because the tooth has no nerve, you won’t feel it if a cavity forms.