Compared to fillings which just cover a small portion of a tooth, a crown (or cap) encases the entire visible portion of a tooth. In effect, the crown acts as the tooth's new outer surface. A dental crown is used when a tooth is broken, cracked or decayed to such an extent that fillings aren't able to repair the problem. The crown is able to provide a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth to strengthen it, as well as to improve the appearance of the tooth. While crowns come in different materials, the most common crowns typically have some mixture of porcelain in them to give them a look and feel similar to a natural tooth.
How it's done
The first visit to your dentist involves reshaping the tooth and taking impressions which are used to create the crown. A portion of your tooth will have to be removed for the crown to fit properly. After the dentist reshapes your tooth, he will use a special material to create an impression of it. This impression will be sent to a dental laboratory to be made into a permanent crown. Before sending you home, Dr. Hulse will provide you with a temporary crown to cover your tooth in between visits.
When you return to your south Austin dentist, Dr. Hulse will have received the permanent crown from the laboratory. He will remove the temporary crown and fit the new permanent one. Before cementing the permanent crown in place, he will ensure that it fits comfortably and matches the color of your teeth.
Below are a few cases.
In this first case, this patient had a front tooth that had an old porcelain crown with metal underneath it. The gums have receded some, leaving an unattractive, dark, unnatural appearance. It was restored with a new all porcelain crown, and as can be seen it is much more natural and beautiful looking.
In the below case, the patient had a dark front tooth. It was dark because it had chipped and broke many years ago. It was patched together with some composite filling material. The patient was tired of having a the dark tooth. A porcelain crown was the perfect restoration to make this tooth stronger and more attractive. And as can be seen, we obtained a fantastic result.
The back, posterior teeth, that you chew with can be replaced with beautiful crowns as well.
Here is an example in which several posterior teeth were restored with crowns, along with bridges, to replace the missing teeth.
Below are two videos, which explain the process further: