Dental crown is a form of cap that is used to cover the teeth in order to restore its normal shape and strength. There are certain dental problems that can be corrected after carrying out a dental crown procedure. Dental crowns is usually recommended for weak teeth or if the damages on your teeth are too large for fillings.
On this article, you will learn the steps of the tooth crowning process. I will also address common questions that most patients ask more often about dental crowns. Well, am not here to waste much of your time, I will go straight to the answers. Just read through and digest, if you have any questions or suggestions, let me know at the end of this article.
When is dental crown needed?
Your dentist can recommend dental crowns for you if you have any of these dental issue:
1. Weak teeth: if some parts of your teeth are extremely weak, may be due to tooth decay or injury. Crowns might be needed to support and hold the parts of your tooth together.
2. Dental implants: it can be used to cover and protect dental implants.
3. Broken or worn out tooth: extreme tooth erosion can lead to severe damages on your tooth structure. Dental crowns can be used to restore the normal structure of your eroded or broken tooth.
4. Teeth discoloration: if you have an extreme case of teeth discoloration, for cosmetic reasons, dental crowns can help out. Crowns are specially designed to closely match the normal color of your healthy teeth.
5. Teeth protection: just like sealants, crowns can be used to protect your teeth against damages. It’s highly recommended if you are at high risk of developing certain dental problems such as tooth decay.
6. Dental bridge: it might be needed to support dental bridges in order to hold them in place.
What are the types of dental crowns?
Dental crowns can be permanent or temporal. It’s usually differentiated based on the material used. Depending on your choice of material, your teeth can be covered with crowns made of ceramic, porcelain, resin or stainless steel. However, according to the American Dental Association (ADA), each of these crowning materials have their pros and cons. Your dentist might need to perform some oral tests on you, in order to determine which of the crowning materia will be best for your teeth.
You will also have to choose whether your dental crowns should be made permanent or temporary. Just as the name implies, temporal dental crowns are not meant to last long. It might be completed in less than two visit to the dentist. Permanent dental crowns on the other hand, lasts more longer for some few years. Such crowns have longer procedures and might be completed in two visits to the dentist lab.
Dental Crown Procedure
The complete dental crown procedure usually take up to two visits. If you are just getting the crowns for the first time, your dentist will have to fix two separate appointments with you. The first visit is when the dentist will carry out some tests on your teeth in order to determine whether it can support a crown. The second visit is when the crown will be placed on your teeth. The whole crowning process might take up to two weeks to be completed.
Don’t worry, I will explain everything, am going to reveal to you the steps involved in dental crown procedure. This can help you to know what to expect when you visit the dentist office for dental crowning.
1. First visit
This are some of the things that you will experience on your first visit to your dentist. This includes:
- Examination: before taking any action, the dentist will have to carry out detailed tests on your teeth. This will help him to determine the underlying cause of your problem. An X-ray or any other suitable oral examination method is usually taken on your teeth and jawbone in order to investigate for signs of decay. (1)
- Numbing the affected tooth: you might have been wondering, how painful getting a dental crown will be. The good news is that you will not experience any pain or discomfort during the crowning process. Before the procedure, the dentist will apply anesthetic to numb your affected tooth and the surrounding gum tissues. If you have had root canal, there might be no need to apply anesthetic again.
- Tooth reshaping: the affected tooth will need to be reshaped prior to the placement of a crown. Some part of your tooth will be trimmed away, in order to create space where the clown will be secured. The extent of reshaping will depend solely on the type of crown material to be used. In some severe cases of tooth decay, the tooth structure will be damaged, giving no room for crowns to fit in. In such cases, the dentist must remove all the decay that is present. After that, a filling material is used to build up the structure of the tooth, creating sufficient surface where the crown will be placed on.
- Impression: a dental impression is the next step after your dentist must have finished shaping your tooth. Through the process of impression, the dentist will make a copy of your tooth with impression materials. The impression material is a small amount of paste or putty like compound that can hold the shape of the tooth. It’s spread over the target tooth and allowed to cover the whole surface of the tooth. After the actual shape of your tooth has been determined, the impression is sent to a dental laboratory where it is is used to create a plaster cast.(2) The plastic cast will be used later on to mold your crown.
- Placing a temporary crown: after the impression has been sent to the laboratory, it’s going to take some time before your crown will be ready. Your crown might take up to a week or less before it will be fully completed. But before then, the dentist can’t just leave your tooth open like that. A temporal crown made out of plastic or metal is installed on your tooth. The crown helps to protect your tooth and also keeps it from shifting position until the permanent crown is ready.
2. Second visit
- Removal of temporary crown: at this point your permanent dental crown must have been ready to be fitted in. The dentist will have to remove the temporary crown in order to replace it with the permanent one. The process of removing temporal is usually painless, the tooth and the surrounding gum tissues will be anesthetized first. After the temporal crown has been removed, the dentist will clean off any remnants of temporary cement that might still be remaining on your tooth.
- Placement of permanent crown: at this point the dentist will position and fasten the new fabricated crown on your tooth. The dentist will have to carry out different evaluations to ensure that the new crown is the same shape, texture and color with your other existing teeth. He can give you a mirror for you to evaluate the crow’s overall position, shape and color yourself. If the results are satisfactory, the next step is to secure the crown on your tooth. With the help of special adhesives and dental tools, the new crown will be cemented into place.
What to do next?
After getting a new crown, it might take some time for you to get used to it. After the crowning process, your dentist should give you instructions on how to maintain the crown. You should try as much as possible to keep to the instructions to avoid causing more trouble to your tooth. If you start to notice anything abnormal such as severe pain or discomfort, don’t ever hesitate to contact your dentist.