Crowns are designed to make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. They fit over a tooth to protect it from further damage. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is broken down and fillings are unable to replace the lost tooth structure.
If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to prevent the further propagation of the crack.
A crown can cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there is not enough tooth structure left. In most cases, crowns are indicated after a root canal therapy, and are used to protect the non-vital tooth.
Crowns are also used to protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped or discoloured teeth.
To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reshaped smaller so that the crown can fit over it. An impression of the teeth and gums is made and sent to the laboratory for crown fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements the permanent crown onto the natural tooth.
With proper care, crowns normally last from eight to 12 years. However, with good oral hygiene, crowns typically enjoy higher life expectancy. It is important to clean between your crowns and teeth. Flossing is important to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth as it can cause dental decay and gum disease.