Dental crowns are a restorative dental treatment option that can help to improve damaged, discoloured or decayed teeth's function, strength and appearance. Here, our Camrose dentists explain what you can expect during a dental crown procedure.
What is a Dental Crown?
Dental crowns, also called caps, are dental restorations that cover up a tooth to restore its size, shape and colour.
These restorations can help to improve the function, appearance and strength of a tooth that has been decayed, damaged or would otherwise need extraction and replacement.
Additionally, dental crowns can be used for cosmetic reasons, such as to cover an uneven or discoloured tooth and improve the overall appearance of your smile.
Crowns are quite strong because they are often made of porcelain, a material that protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure.
The Crown Procedure
To place a dental crown, generally, two dental appointments are required. Once your dentist can determine that you indeed need a crown, here is what you can expect at each of the two appointments.
The First Appointment
To prepare for a crown, your dentist will first examine your mouth and then prepare the tooth.
To prepare the tooth for treatment, a dentist will file down and remove part of the outer layer of each tooth. Next, they will take an impression of the trimmed-down tooth and the surrounding teeth, placing a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it from further damage. This temporary crown will be placed using temporary cement so that it can be removed easily when the permanent crown is ready for application.
Your dental office will send your unique tooth impression to a dental laboratory to make your permanent crown, which may take several weeks.
Using your dental impression, the laboratory technician will be able to examine all aspects of your bite, jaw movements and more and sculpt a crown to fit your smile. Your dentist will compare the shade of your teeth to a selection of colours to help the crown match the colour of the rest of your teeth as closely as possible.
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.
This permanent crown is first placed on the tooth and inspected for an acceptable fit, smooth margin and proper bite. After adjustments have been made, the crown will then be cemented into place with permanent cement or dental glue.
Caring for a Dental Crown
When cared for properly, dental crowns can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. They are still subject to damage, so you must take care when flossing and brushing your crowned teeth to prevent them from needing to be replaced so soon.