Your dentist may recommend a crown to strengthen a damaged tooth or to improve your tooth’s appearance, shape, alignment, or bite. Or, you might need a crown to cover an implant (an artificial tooth root, similar in shape to a screw). Fixed prosthetic devices, crowns are cemented onto existing teeth or implants by your dentist. Before you head into your appointment, you may want to learn a little more about what will happen during your dental crown procedure . . .
Your Dental Crown Procedure
How many appointments are required?
A dental crown procedure typically requires just one visit to your dentist.
What will happen first?
At the beginning of the appointment, your dentist will examine your tooth and check that it’s strong enough to support a crown. If it is, your dentist will (after numbing the tooth and the surrounding gum tissue) begin filing down your existing tooth. Your tooth must be reshaped so that it will fit under the crown and also support the crown.
What if my tooth isn’t strong enough to support a crown?
Don’t worry. If your tooth is severely damaged or broken, you’re likely still a good candidate for a dental crown. Your dentist may need to build up your tooth with a filling material, however, to ensure that it’s large enough to properly receive the crown and to support the prosthetic device.
How do dentists ensure that crowns fit?
Humans’ teeth vary in size and shape, so there isn’t a one-size-fits-all option for crowns. After your tooth is filed down or filled up to the proper shape, your dentist will take a scan of the tooth, as well as the surrounding teeth, so that the permanent crown can be made to fit accordingly.
The custom-made device will be milled in a state-of-the-art CEREC machine in your dentist’s office, which allows for the creation of a high-quality product in very little time. It will look just like your natural teeth, and you can treat it like your natural teeth as well (brushing and flossing as usual).
How is the crown secured to the tooth?
Your dentist will position the crown and then fasten it to the tooth with permanent cement. The process is simple and painless.
What happens afterward?
After the crown is cemented into place, it should last approximately 5 to 15 years. To ensure that your crown lasts as long as possible, practice good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day, floss once a day, and avoid all of the following:
- Grinding your teeth (talk to your dentist if you suffer from bruxism)
- Clenching your teeth
- Chewing on ice
- Eating sticky foods like caramel and candy
- Biting hard materials (chewing on a pen, using your teeth like a tool)
Finally, if you notice that anything seems off with your new crown, contact your dentist. For example, you might experience pain or sensitivity or find that your new crown feels chipped or loose. In rare cases, a crown may fall off due to a poor fit or lack of adhesive.
You may need a crown if your tooth is decaying, fractured, or cracked or if you’re undergoing root canal therapy. A crown can improve your tooth’s appearance, of course, but don’t forget that it can also restore your tooth’s health and functionality.
Looking for an experienced, reliable, and friendly dentist? If you live in or near Springfield, Missouri, contact Wilkinson Dental. Dr. Wilkinson and his team will give you the personalized treatment you deserve using state-of-the-art technology. For exceptional and comprehensive dental care, schedule your first appointment today by calling 417-708-0556 or requesting an appointment online.