While inlays and onlays cover the chewing surface of the tooth and fillings fill in the empty interior space of the tooth, crowns completely cover every visible part of the tooth – which is why they are sometimes referred to as “caps.” A part of your tooth remains but is essentially “rebuilt” to resemble a natural tooth. Crowns are made from a variety of materials with different strengths and aesthetics.
Crowns are typically used when large fillings break or weaken teeth, teeth fracture, or when teeth are weak or badly worn down. Teeth that have been treated by root canal therapy generally need to be restored with a crown for addend strength. Crowns can also be used cosmetically to change the shape, size and color of existing teeth.
The crown procedure is typically completed in two visits. First, your dentist will determine if your tooth can be repaired with a crown. If it can, the tooth will need to be prepared by reshaping or reconstructing any badly decayed or damaged areas. Afterward, your dentist will take an impression of your teeth, which is then sent off to a lab, and give you a temporary crown to wear. On your second visit, the crown will be tried in, adjusted, and cemented into place.
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