What is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns are used to save a tooth and restore it back to its normal shape, strength, and appearance. A crown, unlike a filling, will cover the entirety of the visible tooth. Dental crowns are recommended in a number of situations, which include:
- Protecting a cracked or broken tooth
- Giving support to a dental bridge
- Covering a dental implant
- Cosmetic issues, like discoloration
Your dentist will be able to tell you if you are in need of a dental crown. If you do find yourself in that situation, we have listed the steps of this procedure below.
Procedure for Receiving a Dental Crown
Generally, receiving a dental crown will take two visits. The first visit is to examine and prepare the tooth. The second visit is for actually placing the crown on the tooth.
The First Visit
- X-Rays. Your dentist might take some x-rays to make sure there is no severe damage to the roots of the tooth.
- Preparing the Tooth. As long as the damage is not severe, your dentist will begin to prepare the tooth by filing down the top and sides of the tooth to make sure the crown fits. Your tooth will be numb during this time so you should not feel anything as the dentist does this.
- Necessary Adjustments. If the tooth has had decay to the point where some of that tooth is missing, your dentist will fill in the tooth to make sure it can support a crown.
- Impressions of the Tooth. Once the tooth is shaped for the dental crown, the dentist will make an impression of the tooth receiving the crown as well as the teeth around it so the crown does not affect your bite.
- Temporary Crowns. While the impressions are sent to the lab and used to make the final crown, you will receive a temporary crown.
The Second Visit
Once the final crown is made you will go back to the dentist’s office to have it placed.
- Removing Temporary Crown. Your dentist will remove the temporary crown and check to make sure the permanent crown fits correctly and is the right shade to match your other teeth.
- Permanent Crown. You will then have the permanent crown placed on the tooth with an adhesive.
It is important to remember that dental crowns may not last your whole lifetime. The better care you take of your teeth the longer the crown will last. Over time, your dentist will be able to tell you if and when your crown needs to be replaced.