A dental crown is commonly called a “cap,” and is placed over a decaying or damaged tooth. It can also be positioned over a space filled with a dental implant.

When a tooth has been damaged so much that a filling or dental bonding would be too weak to restore the tooth, or a tooth would be more filling than tooth, a dental crown can restore it to its original shape and strength.


Dental crowns can also sometimes be used in cosmetic situations where a veneer isn’t strong enough for the amount of reshaping that a tooth requires. It might also be used to help rebuild your bite in neuromuscular dentistry.

A dental crown can usually be placed in two visits.  At the first, Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins will examine the tooth to see the extent of the damage, perhaps taking x-rays to ensure that you will not need any further dental work before placing the crown.  They will also determine a color match so that the finished dental crown will appear similar to the surrounding teeth.  Then they will numb the area and prepare the tooth by gently removing a small amount of the surface of the tooth to ensure a proper adhesion with the dental crown.  If the dental crown is being placed over a dental implant, this step will be omitted.

Once the surfaces of the tooth are prepared, Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins will take an impression of the tooth and areas around it to create the perfect bite relationship.  The impression will be sent to a dental laboratory where the dental crown will be hand-crafted to fit perfectly within the available space.  A temporary crown will be placed over the prepared tooth.  The temporary is made of a less durable material, so Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins will give you specific instructions on how to care for it.

Your second appointment will take place after the lab has finished your permanent dental crown.  The temporary one will be gently removed, and Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins will test the fit of the new one.  If the fit and coloration are correct, Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins will cement your new tooth into place and ensure that your bite pattern is correct and comfortable.

A dental crown requires the same dedication to dental health as any other teeth.  If you care for it as well as possible, a dental crown can last for more than twenty years.  If you neglect it, it won’t last as long – but neither will any of your other teeth!  Also, avoid hard or sticky foods as they could cause your dental crown to break or come loose.

With wholly porcelain crowns, there is no dark line caused by a metal base as with porcelain fused to metal crowns.  80% of the time, Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins are able to place an all-porcelain dental crown, but they will advise you if your case requires a porcelain and metal dental crown.

If you’re in the Spokane, WA area and would like to consult with Drs. Ken & Marnie Collins about dental crowns, please feel free to call them at (509) 532-1111 in Spokane, or contact them online. You can also make an appointment online.