A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. Once cemented into place, crowns fully encase the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line.

You can expect your crown treatment visit to last about an hour and a half for a single crown. 

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?

A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  • To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of tooth structure left
  • To repair a tooth with a large amount of decay
  • Cosmetic enhancement
  • Fractured fillings
  • A tooth that has a root canal

What Steps Are Involved in Preparing a Tooth for a Crown?

Preparing a tooth for a crown requires two visits. The first step involves preparing the tooth, the second visit involves placement of the permanent custom crown.

First Visit: Preparing the Tooth

  • At the first visit prior to receiving a crown, the tooth is prepped to make room for the crown. The amount removed from the tooth depends on its condition. If a large area of the tooth is missing due to decay or damage, the filling material will be used to “build up” the tooth to support the custom crown.
  • After prepping the tooth, an impression is made of the remaining tooth structure and a shade is selected that most closely matches the color of the neighboring teeth. A temporary crown will be made and placed with temporary cement to cover and protect the prepared tooth until the next appointment. Your bite will be checked to ensure you are biting properly. You will be given post-op instructions on how to care for your temporary crown between visits.
  • The impressions are sent to a dental lab where the crown will be manufactured. The custom crown is usually returned to our office in about two-and-a-half weeks

Second Visit: Cementing the Permanent Crown

During the second visit, the temporary crown is removed and the tooth is cleaned to remove any excess cement and check for fit, spacing, bite and color of the permanent custom crown. If everything is acceptable, the new custom crown is permanently cemented in place.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

On average, dental crowns last between five and 15 years. The life span of a crown depends on the amount of “wear and tear” the crown is exposed to, how well you follow good oral hygiene practices and your personal habits.


Dr. Mark J. Cantu, DDS
7101 W. Highway 71, Suite A-3
Austin, TX 78735

Hablamos Espanol


Phone: 512-551-5400
Fax: 512-551-5408

Most PPO Dental Insurance Accepted

Office Hours

Monday - Treatment Appt. Only
8 AM - 4 PM
Tuesday – Friday
7:30 AM – 3 PM

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