A crown is a permanent covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance.
The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:
Numbing the tooth and removing the decay.
Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
Making an optical (virtual) scan of the tooth in order to create a custom-made crown by computer and CAD/CAM milling.
After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, firing it in a kiln for 20 minutes to harden it (5X harder than tooth). Lastly, cementing it into place. The tooth and new crown may be used immediately.
Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This also helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, crowns can last many years.