Dr. Michael C. Hattaway
Family Dentistry

1317 Central Drive
Sanford, NC 27330

PO Box 2517
Sanford, NC 27331

Phone: (919) 775-2522
Fax: (919) 774-5639
lisa_hattaway@windstream.net frontdesk_hattaway@windstream.net


Dental Health - Crowns

A crown is a special dental restoration that entirely covers or "caps" a tooth.  Besides strengthening a damaged tooth, a crown can be used to improve its appearance.

A crown may be used to:

  • replace a large filling
  • restore a fractured tooth
  • cover a dental implant
  • cover a poorly shaped or discolored tooth
  • cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

What material is used?

Several factors are considered when choosing among the various materials used to make crowns.  The location of the tooth, the color & shade, the amount of tooth that shows when you smile, and the function of the tooth all must be taken into consideration.  Gold, porcelain or ceramic, acrylic or composite resin or combinations of these materials are used to make crowns.  Porcelain attached to a durable metal shell is commonly used for its strength.

A crown made entirely of tooth-colored porcelain may be used when the tooth is in the visible part of the smile.  Gold or other alloys might be used for crowns on less visible molars.

What does it involve?

Preparing the tooth and placing the crown usually requires two visits.  In some cases, and additional visit may be needed for adjustments.

During the first visit, the dentist shapes the outer portion of the tooth to accommodate the thickness of the crown.  Impressions are made of the prepared tooth.  The impressions are then sent to a lab where the crown is made.  A temporary crown, often made of acrylic resin, covers the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is made.

At the next visit, the permanent crown is placed.  First, the temporary crown is removed and the permanent one placed over the prepared tooth.  Minor adjustments may be needed to make the crowned tooth and your "bite" feel comfortable.  

How do I take care of it?

Take time to carefully remove the plaque from the area where gum tissue meets the tooth (the sulcus).  Plaque that accumulates in the sulcus can cause tooth decay and gum disease.  Be sure to brush twice daily with fluoridated toothpaste and clean between your teeth daily by flossing.  This helps to remove plaque, a sticky film of bacteria that can cause tooth decay.