Severe tooth decay in the enamel of a single tooth can seriously compromise the function of your mouth. The dentist might not be able to anchor a filling if too much enamel has been damaged. In a situation like this your dentist might recommend the tooth is fitted for a crown.
A crown essentially replaces the enamel of a tooth with an artificial substance such as porcelain, gold alloy or base metals. In most cases being fitted for a crown requires two separate appointments.
At the first appointment, the dentist will take a few x-rays to assess the health of the tooth. If the tooth decay has advanced far enough to infect the root, the dentist might need to perform a root canal to resolve the problem.
If the decay is localized only in the enamel they will simply numb the area, then use a drill to remove the majority of the tooth enamel. The dentist will leave behind just enough enamel to create a shell around the healthy dentin or pulp of the tooth. This small post is called an abutment.
Once this is done the dentist will take an impression of the area, which will be sent to a dental lab where they custom create your crown. The dentist will then cap the tooth with a temporary crown to keep it protected while your permanent crown is being made.
At the second appointment the dentist will replace your temporary crown with the permanent crown that is firmly cemented in place.
If you have a tooth with severely damaged enamel or concerns that you might need a crown, please feel free to call us at [phone] to schedule an appointment.