Filling Versus Crown
Once a tooth has erupted, your body cannot make new enamel and dentin, the hard mineralized tissues your teeth are made of. Teeth do not repair themselves when damaged, the way broken bones mend or torn skin heals. It's the same original enamel and dentin tooth structure that was made when you were a child. With time and use teeth show signs of wear and tear. Weakened by lost structure from cavities, attrition from grinding, and erosion from acid, teeth develop cracks, become more susceptible to decay, and fracture. A Crown is a way to prevent or repair a badly damaged tooth so it is restored to form and function again.
Crowns can be made from porcelain (ceramic), porcelain fused to metal, all metal, or newer ceramic materials. Depending on the choice of materials, crowns can be very strong and durable, highly esthetic and natural looking, or somewhere in between depending on the need. Think of it like a new hard armored shell covering and protecting the business end of your tooth.
Restoring a tooth with a crown typically takes two visits, about two weeks apart. Between appointments your prepared tooth will be covered by a temporary crown made of a plastic like material.