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 will typically 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
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.
Your dentist will:
See pictures of a
tooth and tooth decay.
During your 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
A crown will work just like a healthy tooth.
Crowns sometimes come loose over time, and you may need to get them
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
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 and your dentist thinks the pulp might die, he or
she might suggest taking out the tooth (extraction) and
implant. If the pulp dies after you get a crown, you
will need a root canal to remove the dead pulp.
Complete the special treatment information form (PDF)(What is a PDF document?) to help you understand this treatment.
June 14, 2011
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Steven K. Patterson, BS, DDS, MPH - Dentistry
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