An improper bite, age, old or large fillings and tooth decay can all be contributing factors in the wearing down, cracking or breakage of your teeth. Dental crowns (sometimes referred to as caps) cover the entire visible surface of your affected tooth and add strength, durability and tooth stability.
The dentist will take an impression of the tooth and a dental laboratory will make the crown. You will typically leave the office with a temporary crown to wear while the permanent crown is being made. This takes about 7-10 days. The permanent crown is then cemented onto your tooth. A preliminary restoration (filling) of your tooth may be needed to stabilize the tooth before a crown can be placed.
Crowns are either made from gold, ceramic, or combination of gold and ceramic. The combinations of gold and ceramic crowns are extremely durable and are normally used in molars, where the forces from chewing and grinding are most prevalent. Ceramic crowns are used primarily for front teeth, since they can best resemble the natural tooth color and have the nicest appearance.
Gold crowns are appropriate when strength is more of a priority than appearance. The gold metal is extremely workable making gold crowns a more precise fit than any other type. While there is a slight possibility of chipping with porcelain crowns, gold crowns provide no such possibility.