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Home > Patient & Family Resources > Health Library > Dental Crowns
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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 mold used for making the crown. The crown may be temporary. In this case, you will need a second visit.
Your lips and gums may stay 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.
Current as of:
June 30, 2021
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family MedicineMartin J. Gabica MD - Family MedicineArden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
Current as of: June 30, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Arden Christen DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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