A tooth crown procedure is a type of dental procedure that actually restores a tooth back to a healthy state.
Tooth crowns also known as dental caps are often needed to ensure the ongoing health of a tooth due to deterioration from either a large cavity, or a broken or chipped tooth. It can also be used to improve the strength or appearance of your tooth.
A dental tooth crown is a tooth shaped cap that is literally cemented over, or “onto” an existing tooth. When properly placed and fitted, a dental tooth crown fully encases your own tooth and sits just at the gum line. A dental tooth crown looks, feels and functions the same as your original tooth.
First Visit of the Tooth Crown Procedure
To complete a crown it typically takes two dental visits. The first visit involves examining and preparing the tooth and the second to place or cement the new crown. During the first visit of your, your dentist will perform the following steps:
- X-rays: x-rays are taken to check the roots of the tooth to ensure the health and stability of the roots and the surrounding bone. If the tooth has extensive decay or is at risk for infection, a root canal may be needed.
- Anesthetize: You dentist will anesthetize or numb your tooth and the surrounding gum tissue in order to begin the preparation of your tooth, for your dental tooth crown.
- Filing: The next step is to trim back the chewing surfaces, and the sides of the tooth, in order to make room for the crown. The amount of filing is determined by the type of crown that will be placed onto the tooth.
- Impressions: After the reshaping of the tooth, an impression of the tooth is made with impression putty or paste. Impressions of the teeth above or below the tooth that is to receive the crown are made as well, to ensure that the crown will not affect your bite.
- Laboratory: The impressions are sent to a dental laboratory to be manufactured into a crown. This usually takes two to three weeks.
- Temporary Crown: The last step performed during the first visit is to have a temporary crown placed over the prepared tooth, in order to protect the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being made.
Second Visit of the Tooth Crown Procedure
The second visit is a much quicker visit and much less involved.
- Remove temporary crown: The first step during your second visit will be to remove your temporary crown.
- Check fit: The second step during this visit will be to check the fit and color of the permanent crown.
- Anesthetize: Some dentists will anesthetize or numb the tooth at this point, others will not.
- Placement: The new dental tooth crown is fitted and cemented onto the existing, prepared tooth.
A crowned tooth should last five to fifteen years, depending upon the wear and tear of the dental crown and the diligence of dental hygiene performed by the owner. While the crown does not require any special care, you must continue to follow excellent dental care practices, including regular brushing and flossing, especially around the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Waiting too long for a tooth crown procedure may lead to a dental extraction. Do you have a tooth that needs a dental crown procedure before it is too late?