What Are Crowns and How Are They Used?

dentist point to computer monitor



A very common procedure in dentistry is called a crown. When a tooth has decay that is too large to be restored by a filling a crown is indicated. They are also indicated if an old filling has worn out, if there are cracks in a tooth, if the tooth is broken, or after endodontic treatment (root canal). Crowns are very common and are effective.


A crown fits over the tooth and mimics the natural tooth. After the decay (or old filling) are removed the tooth is shaped to receive the crown. Reduction between 1mm-2mm will be needed to make space for the crown.  Once the final crown is completed it is cemented on the remaining tooth structure and will not come off. They are not removable. The look and feel like a natural tooth.


There are many different options for the crown material and how the crown is made.  Traditionally impressions were made and sent to a dental lab for fabrication.  This process would mean two visits to the dentist. The first for the crown prep and the second for the delivery of the final crown after it has be fabricated from the lab.  This method is still a great way to fabricate crowns. The technique has been exacted over the years and works well.

With dental technology advancing, so have the methods to fabricate a crown. For example, we can now fabricate the crown in the office in the same appointment. This can be done without the uncomfortable dental impressions. This is done by Computer-aided design & computer-aided manufacturing or CAD CAM. Your teeth are scanned with a special dental camera. The image is then used to digitally design a crown. After the design is done in the computer, the file is sent to a machine, here in our office, where the crown is made. It is then placed in a small furnace for final curing. The crown is now ready to be cemented. This entire process takes about 30 minutes and is all done in our office.

This new technology has been used in dentistry for over 15 years.  There are some instances where an in office crown would not be the material of choice. If that does happen a lab fabricated crown would be the best option.

At Fine Dentistry in Las Vegas, we implement both methods for crown fabrication.  We are happy to provide the highest and latest standard of care.  Please view this simple animation for an example of in office crown procedure.

As always please call if you ever need anything or have any questions. 702.798.7724

Your Dentist, Your Friend

Dr. David Ross
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