Crowns are “cemented” onto an existing tooth and fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression which allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw movements function normally once the crown is placed.
Getting porcelain crowns usually requires two appointments. Your first appointment will include taking several highly accurate impressions or iTero digital scans that will be used to create your custom crown. If you are getting your crown for cosmetic reasons, the dentist can adjust the mold slightly to ensure that the finished crown will look better than your original tooth. This mold will also be used to create a temporary crown, which will stay on your tooth for approximately two weeks until your new crown has been fabricated by a dental laboratory.
At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed, the tooth will be cleaned, and your new crown will be carefully cemented to ensure the spacing and bite is accurate.