Crowns Dental Crown Procedure

Dental Crown Procedure


Dental crowns are restorative dentistry treatments used to protect decayed or broken teeth, support dental bridges, cover dental implants, and repair the appearance of damaged teeth, along with a whole host of other tasks. Your dentist might tell you you need a crown if you have a very large dental cavity that can’t adequately be repaired with a filling, or if your tooth is significantly eroded, decayed, or compromised in another way. Dental crowns are commonly made of metal, porcelain fused to metal, dental resin, or porcelain, depending primarily on the location of the tooth and the needs and budget of the patient. When crowns are used in the front of the mouth, in the visible area known as the aesthetic zone, porcelain crowns are preferable for their highly natural, luminous appearance; toward the back of the mouth, dentists might recommend metal or metal alloys, which are far more durable than porcelain but also far more noticeable.


Any dental procedure begins with an initial consultation and examination. Your dentist will review your medical history and examine your teeth and oral cavity, taking x-rays and other images and treating any decay or infection that might be present. Following this initial consultation and possible treatment, the dental crown procedure itself can be expected to require two office visits. At the first visit, your dentist will use a local, injectable anesthetic to numb the mouth before preparing the tooth for its crown. To prepare the tooth, any decayed tissue is removed before the tooth is shaved down so the crown can fit over it while maintaining balance with the rest of the row of teeth. This means removing potentially healthy dental tissue, which also means a dental crown is considered a permanent dental treatment.


Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist will take an impression of it, using dental putty or a digital scan as preferred by the dentist. This impression is used to make a model of the mouth and dentition, which is sent to an off-site dental lab and used to form your custom crown. You’ll have a temporary crown placed over the prepared tooth to keep it safe; take care to avoid dislodging your temporary crown while cleaning the teeth or eating, and avoid sticky foods or gum while the temporary crown is in place.


A couple of weeks after the tooth is prepared, your new crown will be ready, and you’ll go back to the dentist for the second part of the procedure. Your dentist will take off the temporary crown and put the permanent crown in place to assess its fit, color, and feel; if everything’s up to snuff, they’ll cement the crown onto the tooth, and if not, they’ll request the necessary changes before doing so. After the crown has been bonded in place over the tooth, the area might feel a bit sensitive and you may experience some discomfort for a few days, but as the gums heal and the cement continues to cure over the next few days, this will diminish and gradually disappear. Your dentist will review the proper aftercare procedures with you in detail, including, when appropriate, addressing whatever issue caused your teeth to become damaged in the first place. Just like natural teeth, dental crowns are easy to care for and should look, feel, and act just like natural teeth, but you need to do your part to keep them secure and attractive in your mouth for the long term.


How Long Do Dental Crowns Last