Compared to fillings which just cover a small portion of a tooth, a crown (or cap) encases the entire visible portion of a tooth. In effect, the crown acts as the tooth's new outer surface. A crown is used when a tooth is broken or decayed to such an extent that fillings aren't able to repair the problem.
The crown is able to provide a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth to strengthen it, as well as to improve the appearance of the tooth. They can also help restore a tooth to it's original shape or can reshape teeth if needed.
The first visit involves removing the decayed or weakened portion of the tooth or reshaping the tooth and taking impressions to create the crown. After the dentist reshapes your tooth, one of his assistants (Trish or Rachel) will use a special material to create an impression of it.
This impression will be sent to an off-site dental lab to be made into a permanent crown. Before sending you home, Trish or Rachel will make you a temporary crown to cover your tooth while you wait 2-3 weeks for your permanent crown to return.
Upon your return, we will remove the temporary crown and cement the new permanent one in its place.
Before cementing the permanent crown in place, Dr. Carlisle will ensure that it fits comfortably and matches the color of your teeth.