Crowns, unlike fillings, can be used to replace and restore the entire part of the tooth above the gum line. Crowns are made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of both. They are constructed in a dental lab and are designed to fit your overall mouth and existing teeth allowing the dentist greater control than a filling.
Typically crowns are completed in two appointments. At the first appointment the dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding gum area. An impression will be made so that the crown can be created in a dental laboratory.
A small portion of the tooth will have to be sanded off so that the permanent crown will fit properly in the mouth. The dentist will then place a temporary crown on the tooth with a cement that can be removed easily on the next visit. On the second visit the temporary crown will be replaced with the permanent crown from the dental laboratory.
Most insurance will not cover crowns under 5 years. Most dentists aim to have a crown last more than 10 years. Results obviously vary as individuals can affect the crown by how they care for it as well as habits such as teeth grinding. A good crown with proper care can last indefinitely, especially if it in an area that is not of cosmetic concern.