Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay. Crowns are also commonly placed on teeth that have been devitalized by root canal treatment rendering them vulnerable to fracture.

What does the crown procedure involve?

Crowns require 2 appointments. Unlike fillings in which the restorative material is applied directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. At the first appointment, the tooth is prepared for the crown and an impression of the area is made. This impression is sent to a dental laboratory that fabricates the crown from porcelain, metal, or both. During the second appointment, crowns are cemented onto the prepared tooth and will essentially cover the entire tooth above the gumline. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth's new outer surface.