A dental crown is placed by first filing down the tooth, then making impressions of the tooth, according to Colgate. A crown requires at least two visits to the dentist.
The tooth needs to be filed down to make room for the crown, which fits like a cap over the tooth, says Colgate. Once that is done, the impressions are done and sent to a dental lab. Within a couple of weeks, the patient returns to the dentist and has the crown bonded to the tooth. Polishing the crown is the final step of the crown process.
Some patients get a root canal prior to getting a crown, says Colgate. This is done due to a cavity that reaches the pulp and nerves of the tooth. If a root canal is needed, a temporary crown is placed over the tooth until the permanent crown is installed at the dental lab. This protects the tooth from breaking before the final crown is bonded to the tooth. Some teeth also need a foundation to be built before placing a crown.
There are multiple reasons a dentist recommends a crown, according to WebMD. Aside from a root canal, a crown may protect a decaying tooth, restore a broken tooth or cover a large filling if a lot of the natural tooth is missing. Crowns are also necessary when getting a dental implant or dental bridge.