Crowns (also known as caps) and are complete coverings for teeth that can be made of a variety of differing materials depending on the situation. In order to make room for a crown and to allow it to slide over the tooth, some of the existing tooth structure must be removed. This procedure is called the crown preparation.
Teeth before and after being prepared for crowns.
Once the teeth are prepared, a mold of the prepared teeth is made in the mouth. This mold is called an "impression".
After the teeth have been prepared, temporary plastic crowns are cemented onto the prepared teeth with a special temporary cement. The pictures above show the temporary crowns immediately after cementation (left) and 3 weeks later at the appointment to place the permanent crowns (right). Note the healthy appearance of the gums on the right.
Temporary crowns must be well made and fit precisely in order to keep the teeth comfortable, gums healthy, provide good function and esthetics and prevent the prepared teeth from moving during the time it takes to make the permanent crowns. This time frame can range from the same day (in which case a temporary crown is probably not needed) to several weeks. The complexity of the case and the materials involved usually dictate this time frame.
The temporary crowns are gently removed and the final crowns are cemented onto the prepared teeth using a permanent cement. Cementing the final crowns usually requires no numbing.
The chewing surfaces of the permanent crowns.
Before and after crowns.
Click here to see how a bridge is made to replace a front tooth which must be removed.
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