Tooth decay, old large fillings or fractures can damage a tooth to such a degree that there is only a small amount of healthy enamel remaining. In a situation like this your dentist might recommend having a crown placed on the tooth.
A crown is essentially an artificial tooth anchored to the root of your tooth. If the root of the tooth has been damaged by decay and infection the dentist might need to perform a root canal to insure there is enough healthy structure to anchor the crown.
Having a crown fitted often requires two separate appointments. At the first appointment the dentist might want to take X-rays to make sure the root is healthy and assess the enamel of the tooth. If the root is healthy and strong 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. While the lab is making the crown your abutment will be covered with a temporary crown.
Once the crown is completed, your dentist will call you to schedule a second appointment. The temporary crown is removed and the permanent crown is then cements in place.
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 757-587-6399 to schedule an appointment.