When a dental patient is suffering from a cavity, a tooth colored filling is one of the common treatment options available. These cosmetically appealing alternatives to the metal fillings used in former years have grown in popularity and are now the filling used most often in addressing cavities. Some dental patients may still have questions…
How the Dental Crown Procedure Works
A dental crown is a tooth restoration that is used to repair damaged teeth. It is used on a tooth that is too damaged to be fixed with a filling or an inlay. Often, a dental crown is used to save teeth that would otherwise be extracted.
In the world of cosmetic dentistry, dental crowns are often referred to as dental caps. Cosmetic dentists use them to improve the appearance of their patients' teeth. Crowns can cover up teeth that are crooked, cracked, broken, chipped or gapped. They are used to create an even, appealing smile. If you are looking to get fitted with one or more dental crowns, this is what you should expect:
Placing a dental crown, step by step
Dental crowns are placed by either general or cosmetic dentists. Whether the crown is fitted for restorative or cosmetic purposes, the procedure remains the same. Usually, the process requires two sessions in the dentist's chair, though some dentists are able to place dental crowns in a single procedure. The process of fitting a dental crown goes like this:
1. Examination and creation of a treatment plan
If the patient has a damaged tooth, their dentist will evaluate the extent of the damage. The dentist will always choose the most conservative dental restoration. So when they find that a filling or an onlay just will not cut it, they will opt for a dental crown. The same goes for a cosmetic dentist. They will only recommend dental caps when the imperfections in their patient's teeth are extremely pronounced.
2. Preparing the tooth
First, the dentist will numb the tooth. If the tooth has decay or an infection, the dentist will remove the diseased dental tissue. Once the tooth is cleaned and disinfected, the dentist will file off a layer of the enamel. The dentist does this to make space for the crown so that it can fit between the teeth on both sides of the restored tooth. By removing a layer of enamel, the dentist also provides a rough surface for the dental crown to adhere to the tooth.
3. Making an impression of the prepared tooth
After preparing the tooth, the dentist will have the patient bite down on dental putty. Once they have the impression, the dentist will clean the tooth and cover it with a temporary crown. Then they will send the patient home. The putty will harden to form a mold of the prepared tooth. The dentist will send the impression to a dental lab, where it will be used to fabricate the crown. Along with the impression, the dentist will send specifications about the color of the crown.
4. Placing the permanent crown
Once the crown arrives from the dental lab, the dentist will call in the patient for a second visit. They will place the crown with the following steps:
- The dentist will numb the patient’s tooth
- They will remove the temporary crown
- They will clean and disinfect the prepared tooth
- The dentist will place the permanent crown on the tooth to see if it fits right
- Where needed, the dentist will make adjustments to the crown by filing it down or buffing it
- Once the dentist is satisfied, they will cement the crown in place
And that is all it takes to place a dental crown. Some dentists have the machines and skill to fabricate dental restorations in their offices. Such dentists place a permanent crown in a single visit.
A nice smile is only one dental crown away
If you have one or more teeth that could use a new look, get in touch with us. We will be happy to advise you on the best way to restore your smile. Our dentist is a call or a visit away.
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