Crowns are placed to strengthen weak or unsupported teeth. There are various scenarios which can significantly weaken a tooth, making it highly susceptible to fracture, which include large cavities or decay, microfracture lines, endodontic (root canal) treatment, and trauma. In these situations, a crown can be fabricated to completely wrap around the tooth, protecting all surfaces from fracture.
Be sure to mention to your dentist if you have any teeth which are consistently cold sensitive, and elicit pain upon chewing. These are common symptoms of cracked tooth syndrome, and might mean that your tooth is in need of crown protection to prevent further breakdown.
If your dentist recommends a crown for your tooth, you should be aware that the procedure takes two appointments to complete. The initial appointment consists of tooth preparation, which involves reshaping or reducing of the tooth. Following tooth preparation, an impression is taken of your tooth, and a temporary crown is made to cover and protect the tooth until your permanent crown is complete.
Upon fabrication of your crown, which typically occurs within two weeks, a second appointment is needed to remove your temporary, and cement the permanent crown.
There are various materials which are utilized to fabricate crowns. Full gold crowns, full porcelain crowns, porcelain fused to metal crowns, and porcelain fused to non-metal copings are all available, and are selected on a case by case basis. Your dentist will be happy to explain which crown is best for you.
The technology currently exists to have a crown prepared and cemented at the same appointment on the same day. The technology comes from CAD systems which are already in place in many other industries. Although there is great convenience for the patient to have the task accomplished at one visit, there are other factors to consider when determining if you may be a good candidate for one of these crowns. Maple Ridge dental group has not elected to offer this service for the following reasons:  the crown material is a ceramic and not as strong or durable over time as porcelain fused to gold crowns, and  the range of colors offered in these ceramic blocks is limited and mono chromatic, which means those used on front teeth have esthetic limitations. We do remain open to improvements in this technology and will keep our patient population informed.