Dental crowns are a restorative dental treatment option that can help improve the strength, function, and appearance of a damaged, decayed, discoloured, or crooked tooth. Here, the Southwood Dental Studio - Highbury dentists share what to expect during a dental crown procedure.
What are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a dental restoration that covers (or 'caps') a tooth to restore its shape, size and colour.
Dental crowns are a valuable solution for enhancing the strength, function, and aesthetics of damaged or decayed teeth, eliminating the need for extraction and replacement.
In addition to their restorative purposes, dental crowns can also serve cosmetic goals by concealing uneven or discolored teeth, enhancing the overall beauty of your smile.
Thanks to their composition primarily of porcelain, dental crowns offer remarkable strength, effectively safeguarding and fortifying the remaining tooth structure.
The Crown Procedure
To place a dental crown generally requires at least two appointments at your dental office. Once your dentist determines you need a crown, here's what you can expect at each appointment.
The First Appointment
To prepare for a dental crown, your dentist will begin by conducting a thorough examination of your mouth. Following this, they will proceed to prepare the designated tooth.
The tooth preparation process involves carefully filing down and removing a portion of the outer layer of the tooth. Subsequently, an impression of the trimmed tooth, as well as the surrounding teeth, will be taken. To safeguard the prepared tooth, a temporary crown will be placed using temporary cement, allowing for easy removal when the permanent crown is ready.
Your dental office will send the precise tooth impression to a dental laboratory, where skilled technicians will craft your custom-made permanent crown. This fabrication process typically takes several weeks.
By utilizing your unique impression, the laboratory technician can assess various aspects of your bite and jaw movements to create a crown tailored specifically to you. Additionally, your dentist will ensure that the shade of your teeth is determined accurately, aiding the technician in crafting a crown that seamlessly matches the color of your natural teeth.
The Second Appointment
Once the crown is ready, you’ll return to your dental office for the second appointment. During this visit, your dentist will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent crown on your tooth.
The permanent crown is first placed on the tooth and inspected for acceptable fit, bite and smooth margins. After any necessary adjustments have been made, the crown is cemented with permanent cement or dental glue.
Caring for a Dental Crown
When properly cared for, dental crowns have an average lifespan ranging from 10 to 20 years. However, it is crucial to handle them with care to avoid damage. Taking diligent measures to brush and floss around crowned teeth can help prevent premature replacement.
By maintaining good oral hygiene practices, you can prolong the longevity of your dental crowns.