A crown is indicated when a tooth has fractured, had a root canal, or an extensive cavity or previous restoration. The crown completely covers the tooth to provide strength and restore function. We generally use two types of crowns: porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) and full porcelain crowns. PFMs have the strength of metal combined with the esthetics of porcelain, and are often the best choice for molars. Full porcelain crowns are more esthetic and appear more tooth-like, however they aren’t quite as strong. Therefore, they are used more often on front teeth, where esthetics are a higher priority and the biting forces aren’t as great.
The procedure for a crown requires two appointments. At the first appointment, after achieving anesthesia, the tooth is prepared for the crown, and an impression is taken. A temporary crown is then placed on the tooth. The impression, which is an exact replication of the teeth, is used to fabricate the final crown by a dental laboratory. At the second appointment, the temporary crown is removed and the final crown is permanently cemented.