Crowns resemble miniature caps that cover all or three-quarters of a cavity-stricken tooth. Sometimes installed after root canals or implants, crowns are designed according to the tooth’s location and visibility. Other factors include the color of the tooth, the proportion of the tooth that is healthy, gum condition, and the tooth’s function.
Crowns last from five to 15 years or longer. In addition to porcelain, they can be made from metal, resin, or a ceramic or pressed ceramic. All but the metal kind can be color-matched to the surrounding teeth.
Getting a crown requires one or two visits. During the first session, the dentist makes a mold of the area. When the laboratory has made the crown, the patient returns for a fitting. In between visits, the dentist installs a temporary crown. Some offices have an onsite lab so that only one visit is necessary.