What You Might Ask About Having a Dental Crown

Having a dental crown doesn't typically include extensive surgery or dental work; this crown is shaped and formed by your dentist and then fitted and glued over a tooth. A crown is a very good choice for teeth that are severely damaged or eroded, and are used when you have a tooth implant in place. If you've been told that you might need a dental crown or two, note a few questions you might have and some information about crowns so you can determine if this is the right choice for you.

How is a crown different from a cap?

The words crown and cap are actually synonymous; the tooth crown is the top of the tooth that is visible, versus the tooth root that sits under the gums. An artificial crown is a type of cap that is created by your dentist and then attached over the top or real crown of your tooth. Having your teeth "capped" then refers to having these artificial crowns or just one crown put in place.

Will people know that your teeth are crowned or capped?

A skilled dentist will make crowns that resemble your natural teeth, including using the right shade of paint so that the crown doesn't look much whiter or any more yellow than your real teeth. The crown should be the same size as your other teeth so that it doesn't jut out from the gum line, or otherwise look artificial. The only way someone should know that you have a crown is if your natural tooth was broken, chipped, or undersized, and someone is comparing the appearance of your new crown to your natural tooth.

Why do I need more than one visit for your crown?

You may know of a friend who had a crown put on a tooth in just one visit, but remember that no two dental procedures and patients are alike. Your friend may have chosen the crown for cosmetic reasons, to fit over an undersized or misaligned tooth, and it didn't take his or her dentist long to shape and then apply the crown. However, if you need a crown put over damaged or decayed teeth, your dentist may need to work more slowly so as to avoid causing irritation and inflammation in the area. It may also take your dentist longer to shape a crown around a damaged tooth versus one that is simply misaligned, so your procedure may require more than just one dental visit.