A dental crown, also known as a dental cap, is an artificial tooth that is placed over the remaining portion of a tooth that has been badly damaged or degraded. It not only provides strengthening and protection for the remaining portion of the original tooth, but improves its appearance by providing an aesthetically pleasing replacement that closely resembles the original size and shape of the tooth.

Crowns are made from a variety of materials, to include metal, a porcelain-metal combination, resin, or ceramic. The selection of the type of crown used will depend on a patient's needs and preferences. Metal crowns are the strongest, but porcelain and resin crowns can be shaped and colored to more closely resemble the original tooth.

The process of getting a crown usually takes at least two dentist visits.

For the first appointment, the dentist will check the tooth's roots and surrounding bone structure to make sure that they can adequately accommodate a crown. He or she will then remove a sufficient amount of the remaining portion of the tooth to allow space for the crown, and may use a filling material to supplement portions of the tooth to better accommodate the crown.

The dentist will then make an impression of the tooth to be covered by the crown and its "opposing tooth," the tooth it makes contact with when the teeth come together to bite. Those impressions are then sent to a dental lab, where the crown is constructed.

Once the crown is ready, typically a couple of weeks after the initial appointment, the dentist will verify that it fits well. Once it has been determined to be a good fit, the dentist will cement it into place.

A crown can last up to 10 years, and possibly much longer if the patient follows good oral hygiene and has proper "dental supervision" - which means regular visits to your Nogales dentist for checkups and treatment.

Dentists can also place a temporary crown, which is typically guaranteed for up to a year, for a price that is much less than that of a permanent crown.

Approximate price range

Permanent crowns: $300 to $1000 (depending on material and extent of work needed to prepare for and place the crown)

Temporary crowns: $80 to $150

Related Dental Problems

Tooth Decay

Damaged Teeth