Dental crowns are a restorative dental treatment option that can help improve the function, strength and appearance of a discoloured, crooked, decayed or damaged tooth. Today, our dentists Peachland Dental in the Okanagan Valley share what to expect during a dental crown procedure.
What is a Dental Crown?
Also called a cap, a dental crown is a dental restoration that covers (or 'caps') a tooth to restore its colour, shape and size.
Dental crowns can help to improve the strength, function and appearance of a damaged or decayed tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted and replaced. Crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes, such as to cover a discoloured or uneven tooth and change the overall appearance of your smile.
Crowns are quite strong due to the fact that they are often made of porcelain, a material that protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure.
The Crown Procedure
Generally, at least two appointments at our dental office are needed to place a dental crown. Once your dentist determines you need a crown, here's what you can expect at each appointment.
The First Appointment
To prepare your oral cavity for a dental crown, the dentist will first examine your mouth, then prepare the tooth.
Tooth preparation will have the dentist filing down and removing part of the tooth's outer layer. Next, an impression of the trimmed tooth and the surrounding teeth will be taken before a temporary crown is placed over the tooth to protect it. The temporary crown is placed using temporary cement so that it can be more easily removed when the permanent crown is ready.
The dental office will send your unique tooth impression to a dental laboratory to make your permanent crown. This may take several weeks.
Using your impression, the laboratory technician is able to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements and sculpt a crown just for you. Your dentist will also be sure to determine the shade of your teeth to help the technician make a crown that will match the colour of the rest of your 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
With the proper care, dental crowns can last on average from 10 to 20 years. They are still subject to damage, so it is important to take care in brushing and flossing around crowned teeth to prevent them from needing to be replaced too soon.