Dentist polishing a provisional crownCrowns are dental restorations that cover a broken, decayed or cracked tooth, or a tooth with a very large filling. They can also correct cosmetic concerns such as discolored or misshaped teeth. Crowns require two steps. First, the tooth is prepared, an impression is taken of the prepared tooth and the impression is sent to the lab to fabricate the permanent crown. A temporary crown is made for you to wear until the lab returns the permanent crown.

Crowns come in several types such as gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) and all-porcelain crowns—all with their own advantages and disadvantages. Very strong, gold crowns can’t break. Thus, they usually go in the very back of the mouth, where you bite with the greatest force and don’t prioritize aesthetics. Strong and tooth colored, PFM crowns usually go where you need strength and prioritize aesthetics. Strong and highly esthetic, all-porcelain crowns usually go in the front of the mouth, where you highly prioritize aesthetics and don’t bite hard.

Certain crowns require a buildup, which is a filling that is placed on the remaining tooth providing the structure needed to prepare a crown. About 15% of teeth prepared for a crown eventually need a root canal due to the previous extensive destruction of the tooth. All posterior teeth with a root canal need a crown to protect the tooth from breaking further.


All-porcelain crowns


PFM crowns

 Gold crown

What to expect after a crown
The day your tooth is prepared for a crown, your gums may be tender and sensitive. Ibuprofen or acetaminophen usually relieves this discomfort. You may experience slight but not extreme or lingering temperature sensitivity. If over-the-counter pain medications don’t relieve the discomfort, contact us to determine if another issue is causing it. Dr. Wright will want to examine you to find a solution that will keep you comfortable.