Dental crowns are a restorative treatment option that can help to improve your smile's strength, appearance and function when you are suffering from damaged, discoloured or decayed teeth. Here, the Slave Lake dental team shares what to expect during a dental crown procedure.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown, also known as the cap of a tooth, is a dental restoration that covers a tooth, restoring its size, shape and colour.
Dental crowns are able to help improve the function, strength and look of a decayed or damaged tooth that may otherwise require 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 due to the fact that they are often made of porcelain, a material that protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure.
The Crown Procedure
The placement of a dental crown generally requires at least two appointments at your dental office. Once your dentist determines that you need a crown, here is what you can expect from each appointment.
The First Appointment
In order to prepare for a crown, your dentist will first examine your mouth and then prepare the tooth.
In order to prepare the tooth for treatment, your dentist will file down and remove parts of the outer layer of your tooth. Then, they will take an impression of the trimmed tooth and your surrounding teeth and place a temporary crown over your tooth to protect it. This temporary crown will be placed using a temporary cement so that it can be easily removed when your permanent crown is ready.
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 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.
Your permanent crown will be placed on your tooth and inspected for an acceptable fit, bite and margins. After any required adjustments have been completed, the crown will be cemented in place with permanent cement or dental glue.
Caring for a Dental Crown
With the right care, dental crown can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years. They are subject to damage, though, so it is important that you take care when you brush and floss your crowned teeth to prevent them from having to be replaced sooner.