Crowns Q & A

What are crowns?

Crowns are protective shells that are custom-designed to fit over a damaged tooth, hiding cosmetic defects while providing greater strength and stability for the tooth. Made of strong, durable materials, crowns can be custom-tinted to match your other teeth so they're almost invisible.

When are crowns used?

Crowns are used when a tooth is badly decayed or damaged, including teeth that have become cracked, broken or chipped, and a repair cannot be achieved with a filling or onlay. They can also be used to hide large, dark fillings or deep stains, to provide strength to a tooth after a root canal, and to offer protection and added strength to the teeth used to support a dental bridge.

What's involved in getting a crown?

Crowns typically take two to three visits to complete. During the first visit, the tooth will be shaped by removing a small portion of tooth material. This helps provide the space required for the crown to fit comfortably and avoid crowding neighboring teeth. A local anesthetic will be used to prevent any discomfort. Next, an impression or mold will be made of the tooth and sent to a lab where the crown can be custom-crafted to fit your mouth and match your other teeth. A temporary crown will be placed on the tooth to protect it while the permanent crown is being made. During the second visit, the permanent crown will be affixed to the tooth using special dental cement. Finally, it will be shaped and buffed for an ideal fit.

How long will a crown last?

Crowns are very durable, and with proper care – regular brushing and flossing and twice-yearly visits with the dentist – they should last from 10 to 15 years, and sometimes longer.

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