Tooth decay, fractures or large fillings that fall out can sometimes leave only a small amount of healthy enamel remaining on a tooth. A crown can replace this enamel with an artificial tooth that is anchored to the existing root.
Getting a crown requires two separate appointments. At the first appointment the dentist will inspect the tooth to make sure the root is still healthy. This might include taking X-rays or a CT scan. If the root is infected the dentist might perform a root canal. If the root is still healthy they will remove some of the remaining enamel leaving a stub behind called an abutment.
The dentist will take an impression of the abutment and send it to a lab where your crown will be made. A crown can be made from different materials, depending on the tooth’s location and function in the mouth. The most common materials are gold, porcelain or base metals. While the lab is making the crown your abutment will be covered with a temporary crown.
When the crown is ready your dentist will call you in for the second appointment. This appointment is usually pretty quick. The dentist simply removed the temporary crown and cements the new one in place. With proper care the crown should last for several years to come.
If you have a tooth with fractures, a lost filling or other questions about whether or not you should get a crown, please feel free to call us at 615-889-8202 to schedule an appointment.