Keeping you up to date with the latest dental information.
Baby Bottle Tooth Decay
Bleach Your Teeth
Dentures: Get Your Smile Back
Extraction of Wisdom Teeth
Fluoride and Your Health
Nutrition & Dental Health
Porcelain Laminate Veneers
Pregnancy and Oral Health
Root Canal Therapy
Temporomandibular Disorders TMJ/TMD
The Right Time for Braces
Tooth Decay: A Preventable Disease
Women's Dental Health
Your Child's First Dental Visit
Your Child's Teeth and Gums: Tips for Parents
What are crowns?
A crown is a restoration that covers, or "caps," a tooth to restore it to its
normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth.
Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won't
solve the problem. If a tooth is cracked, a crown holds the tooth together to
seal the cracks so the damage doesn't get worse. Crown are also used to support
a large filling when there isn't enough of the tooth remaining, attach a bridge,
protect weak teeth from fracturing, restore fractured teeth, or cover badly shaped
or discolored teeth.
How is a crown placed?
To prepare the tooth for a crown, it is reduced so the crown can fit over it.
An impression of teeth and gums is made and sent off to the lab for the crown
fabrication. A temporary crown is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown
is made. On the next visit, the dentist removes the temporary crown and cements
the permanent crown onto the tooth.
Will it look natural?
Yes. The dentist's main goal is to create crowns that look like natural teeth.
That is why dentists take an impression. To achieve a certain look, a number of
factors are considered, such as the color, bite, shape, and length of your natural
teeth. Any one of these factors alone can affect your appearance.
If you have a certain cosmetic look in mind for your crown, discuss it with your
dentist at your initial visit. When the procedure is complete, your teeth will
not only be stronger, but they may be more attractive.
Why crowns and not veneers?
Crowns require more tooth structure removal, hence, they cover more of the tooth
than veneers. Crowns are stationary and are customarily indicated for teeth that
have sustained significant loss of structure, or to replace missing teeth. Crowns
may be placed on natural teeth or dental implants.
How should I take care of my crowns?
To prevent damaging or fracturing the crowns, avoid chewing hard foods, ice or
other hard objects. You also want to avoid teeth grinding. Besides visiting your
dentist and brushing twice a day, cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns.
Floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) are important
tools to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque
in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.
Sources: "Why do I need a crown?" American Dental Association, 1996; Richard T. Masek,
DDS, La Mesa, California; Dr. Paul Bussman, DMD, FAGD, Coleman, Alabama; Sedgwick
Dental Associates Barbara E. Karbassi, RDH, DDS; Michael H. Fisher, CDT, DDS,
Port Orchard, Washington; Aesthetic Dentistry Associates, William Langstaff, DDS,
FAGD, Villa Park, California; Jeffrey L. Wissot, DDS, FAGD, Woodland Hills, California;
The Art of Dentistry, Sol Weiss, DMD, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Terec, a research
and development company formed by dental laboratories in the United Kingdom; David
A. Hall, DDS, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Goldstein, Garber and Salama, Atlanta, Georgia;
Ronald E. Goldstein, DDS, David A. Garber, DMD, Cathy Goldstein Schwartz, DDS,
Maurice Albert Salama, DMD, Angela Gribble, DMD, Henry Salama, DMD, Pinhas Adar,
This information was compiled for you by the Academy of General Dentistry. Your
dentist cares about long-term dental health for you and your family and demonstrates
that concern by belonging to the Academy of General Dentistry. As one of the 37,000
general dentists in the United States and Canada who are members of the Academy,
your dentist participates in an ongoing program of professional development and
continuing education to remain current with advances in the profession and to
provide quality patient treatment. Visit the AGD's website at www.agd.org. You have permission to photocopy this page and distribute it to your patients.
January 1999 AGD IMPACT
Posted October 1, 2000 [TCJ]