A crown is often used to restore the appearance and full function of a tooth with damaged or decayed enamel. Beyond simply restoring a compromised tooth, a crown might also be used to restore a tooth that has been discolored by stains, chips, or other imperfections. Crowns are made of artificial materials that basically replaces the enamel layer of the tooth in question.
Having a tooth restored with a crown requires two separate appointments. The process begins with the dentist examining the tooth, to assess the extent of the damage and make sure the dentin layer and root are healthy. If damage or decay extends beyond the enamel layer, they might need to first perform a root canal.
Next the dentist will remove the majority of the enamel layer, leaving just enough to surround the dentin layer of the tooth. This is called an abutment, later it will anchor your new crown. They will then take an impression of the area, which is sent to a dental lab, where your crown is made. In the meantime, they will cover the abutment with a temporary crown to protect it.
Once the dental lab has completed your permanent crown, the dentist will call you in for a brief second appointment. They will remove the temporary crown and cement the final crown in place.
If you have a severely damaged or decayed tooth that might need a crown, please call us at 301.663.9484 to schedule an appointment.