What is a Dental Crown?

June 10, 2020

A dental crown is essentially a cap, that your dentist places to cover your tooth. The purpose of a crown is to achieve a normal shape or size of a tooth. Your dentist may suggest having a crown placed if you have a large cavity (where a filling would not work), for a cracked tooth, to support a weak tooth, a root canal treatment, to hold a dental bridge, or to improve the way a tooth looks (cosmetic reasons).

Crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including:

  • Metal
  • Stainless steel
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal
  • Resin
  • Ceramic
The Procedure

Usually, the procedure will take two dental visits. The first visit will prepare your tooth by moving decay, or possibly building up the tooth in preparation for the crown. Next an impression will be made to ensure the right fit for the crown. As you wait for your next visit, your dentist may place a temporary crown (can take about 2 weeks). During this time, you will want to be aware of your temporary crown and avoid sticky, hard or chewy foods. After your crown is ready, your dentist will cement it into place and make adjustments as needed.


Post Treatment Care

Dental crowns can last between 5 and 15 years; however, this will depend on dental hygiene practices. To extend the life of your crown, be sure to follow a healthy dental care routine and try to avoid habits like chewing ice, nail biting, using your teeth to open things, excessive teeth grinding or clenching. Some of the most common issues with crowns include loose or chipped crowns, which can usually be avoided.


If you need help with breaking any of these habits, making an appointment with your dentist is a great place to start. They can help establish a healthy oral care plan to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Still need to find a Dental Select dentist near you? Click here.


To read more about these habits that are bad for your teeth and why you should break them, click here.