A dental crown, sometimes referred to as a dental cap, is a tooth-shaped cover that fits over a broken or chipped tooth. It provides strength and an improved appearance to an otherwise weak or injured mouth. You are a candidate for a dental crown if you have a broken or chipped tooth, such as one that has been damaged by an injury or from grinding your teeth during sleep. A dental crown is often the most cost effective way to rehabilitate a tooth damaged by these types of stresses. You also need a dental crown or cap if you are planning to have, or have already had, a root canal treatment.

If you have a broken or chipped tooth and are thinking of getting a dental crown, come in for a consultation with our dentist. You will be able to get advice on the type of dental crown that best fits your needs and what to expect from the procedure. Getting a dental crown may take two or three visits. The amount of time depends on the condition of your teeth and surrounding gum. If your tooth is severely damaged, it may also be necessary to perform a root canal before preparing the tooth to fit the dental crown.

If the gum surrounding the broken tooth is infected, you may need a course of antibiotic medicine before starting dental crown work. Treatment of the infected gum is important for both dental and overall health. A report published in the Journal of the American Dental Association showed that people with infected gums have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. This article is proof that any infections in the mouth should be treated as soon as possible.

After any infection is treated and all preliminary dental work is complete, it is time to fit the dental crown on the chipped tooth. At our dental office, the dentist will file down or build up the broken tooth, depending on the type of damage. They will then make an impression of your tooth so that the dental crown can be designed specifically to fit your tooth. You will then be sent home with a temporary dental crown to protect the broken tooth until your permanent dental crown is made.

It is important that you avoid eating chewy and sticky foods at this delicate time in the procedure. Chewing with the opposite side of the mouth and avoiding hard foods like apples and carrots, will help relieve any pressure to the chipped tooth with the temporary dental crown.

During the final appointment, your dentist will verify that the new dental crown is a good fit and cement the dental crown into place. New bonding materials, as well as ceramic or porcelain blends used to make the crowns are constantly being researched to make sure that dental crowns are safe, secure and could last a lifetime.

If you have any questions or concerns, please call our dental office for more information on dental crowns. Do it now to improve your dental health and the appearance of your smile. We will advise you on all of your options when you come in for a consultation.

In addition to looking beautiful, the benefits of a crown include saving your original and natural tooth structure and helping to save money from expensive treatments, such as dental bridgework or dental implants. Letting your broken, chipped, or decaying tooth remain untreated puts you at risk for medical problems and expensive treatments in the future. So it is strongly advised to get a dental crown as soon as possible. Call now for an appointment.


Demmer RT, Desvarieux M. Periodontal infections and cardiovascular disease: the heart of the matter. Journal of the American Dental Association. 2006;137(Suppl):14S-20S.
Encke BS, Heydecke G, Wolkewitz M, Strub JR. Results of a prospective randomized controlled trial of posterior ZrSiO-ceramic crowns. Journal of Oral Rehabilitation. 2008; In Press.
Kollar A, Huber S, Mericske E, Mericske-Stern R. Zirconia for teeth and implants: a case series. International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry. 2008;28(5):479-87.