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A crown (often called a cap) fits over and replaces the entire part of a decayed tooth above the gum line. It encases the tooth and becomes the tooth's new outer surface.
You may need two or more visits to your dentist to repair a severely decayed tooth with a crown.
Crowns may be made of porcelain or a metal base covered with a thin layer of ceramic that matches your teeth and looks like a normal, healthy tooth. Crowns for the teeth in the back of the mouth may be made of gold.
During your first visit, your dentist will take out the decay and make an impression of your teeth to create a mould used for making the crown. Your dentist will:
If you need a second visit, your dentist will:
Your lips and gums may remain numb for a few hours until the anesthetic wears off. To avoid injuring your mouth, be careful not to chew on your numb lip or cheek.
A crown is used to:
Dentists sometimes use crowns after root canal treatment to seal the tooth and prevent it from breaking.
A crown will work just like a healthy tooth.
Crowns sometimes come loose or wear out over time. So you may need to get a crown cemented again or replaced.
If tooth decay is right next to the pulp, the pulp may not be strong enough to make healthy dentin, which surrounds and protects the pulp. If this happens, your dentist or endodontist may have to remove the pulp, or an oral surgeon may have to remove the tooth root.
If you have certain heart problems, your dentist may prescribe antibiotics before a dental procedure. Some procedures can cause bacteria in the mouth to enter the bloodstream and cause infections in other parts of the body. The antibiotics lower your risk of getting an infection in your heart called endocarditis. For more information, see People Who Need Antibiotics to Prevent Endocarditis and Procedures That May Require Antibiotics to Prevent Endocarditis.
If the decay is near the pulp, your dentist may need to do a root canal before placing a crown. If the tooth cannot be fixed, it may need to be taken out (extracted). Then a bridge or implant can be placed. If the pulp dies after you get a crown, you will need a root canal to remove the dead pulp.
Current as of: July 28, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry & Arden G. Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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