Crowns are most commonly used on teeth that have more than 60% of the biting surface filled and on teeth that have root canals. If your tooth has been damaged by accident or decay, we may recommend fitting a crown or cap over the remaining tooth, instead of removing it completely. In some cases, we may recommend a crown to cover a discoloured or misshapen tooth.
A crown is a hollow, custom-made fake tooth that restores the damaged or decayed tooth and protects it from getting worse. It looks and works just like a natural tooth.
Crowns generally last for about 10 years or longer, if you take good care of them. Although crowns may not be as strong as your natural teeth, you will brush and floss your crown, just like you clean your natural teeth.
Different types of crowns
We use a number of different materials for crowns, depending on which tooth will be treated.
- Composite crowns look quite natural and won’t chip as easily as porcelain crowns, but they do tend to wear more quickly from chewing. They also stain more easily.
- Porcelain crowns look the most natural but they chip more easily, so we do not place them on back teeth.
- Metal crowns are made of gold and generally last a long time. They won’t chip or break, but the gold colour does not look natural.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns look natural and are stronger than porcelain or composite crowns. However, depending on the crown's design, the metal may show if your gums are thin or shrink.
What to expect
- A crown fitting usually takes two visits, separated by 10-14 days to allow for the new crown to be crafted.
- The first appointment is approximately 60 to 90 minutes. Using local anesthetic, we first reduce the size of your tooth to make room for the crown.
- We make an impression of the filed-down tooth and the teeth next to it, in order to make a custom crown that is the right shape for your mouth.
- We fit the tooth with a temporary crown to protect it until your next visit
- It takes approximately 30 minutes to give you your final crown; we check that it's the right shape, colour and bite before cementing it into place.
- The freezing will go away and the bonding will set a few hours after the procedure is complete.