When a Patient Needs a Crown

A typical dental process is making a crown. It costs more than a filling, but when it’s finished, will look just like a real tooth. Here are some circumstances in which a patient might get a crown and the process involved.

Reasons for getting crowns

Sometimes a tooth will have a filling in it which is overly large, so big that it threatens the strength of the tooth. The filling itself may be compromised, as well, and there might not be enough tooth left to fit another filling.


In other cases, a patient might chip or crack a tooth in such a way that other methods of repair aren’t viable. A crown is the best solution in that case.

Last, a crown may be used in cosmetic situations, where a person's smile can be significantly enhanced by a tooth of a particular shape, color or size. A beautiful smile goes a long way in improving a person’s self-esteem.

The process

A crown fitting requires two appointments. The first is the crown buildup. This the where the area is numbed, and tooth is drilled, shaped and prepared so the crown will fit. An impression is made of the crown tooth and surrounding teeth. The patient will receive a temporary crown until the next appointment.

The impression is sent to a lab, where a model of the impression is made. The crown is then created using a combination of metal, porcelain, and ceramic. (There as a few instances in which crowns are made of only metal or only ceramic.)

The patient is invited back to the dentist’s office, where the new crown is cemented in place. Some dental practices have a Cerac CAD-CAM machine which makes the crown immediately.

After fitting the crown, the dentist may do a bit of minor filing or adjusting to make sure the crown fits as precisely as it should.

Follow-up care

A patient who has a crown needs to understand that a tooth with a crown on it needs to be cared for just as thoroughly as a regular tooth. The crowned tooth should be brushed and flossed just like the others, as it’s still possible to get gum disease on a tooth with a crown.

The crown may be sensitive to temperatures at first, but if it is painful, or if the patient’s bit is off, they need to contact the dentist's office right away, as the crown might be higher than it should be.

Once in a while, the cement holding a crown might dissolve due to mouth changes or other factors. If the crown falls out, save it and call your dentist right away. They will tell you what to do and make an emergency appointment to fix it.

If you need a gentle, caring dental team, please call our office at (623) 362-2550. We’ll give you the very best dental care we can!