The Dental Crown Process: What to Expect from Consultation to Treatment - Smiles Dental

The Dental Crown Process: What to Expect from Consultation to Treatment

Embarking on the journey to a healthier smile through a dental crown process can often bring about a mix of emotions—from curiosity to mild anxiety.

It’s important for you to understand the dental crown process is and why it’s necessary.

Dental crowns are custom-fitted tooth prosthetics that are used to cover a damaged tooth. They serve to restore the tooth’s shape, size, strength, and appearance.

The dental crown process includes multiple steps that typically involve at least two visits to the dentist.

Your first appointment will be a consultation, where your dentist assesses the health of your teeth and determines the suitability of a crown.

Preparatory work often includes taking impressions of your tooth to custom-create the crown, and possibly reshaping the tooth in question to ensure a perfect fit.

When your crown is ready, a second appointment will be scheduled for the fitting.

Your dentist will place the crown over your tooth to check the fit and your bite before permanently cementing the crown into place.

Understanding the dental crown process helps you set realistic expectations and prepare for treatment and maintenance thereafter.

dental crown process

Key Takeaways

  • Dental crowns restore damaged teeth and are tailored to fit during a multi-step procedure.
  • Consultation and tooth preparation are the initial steps, leading to the precise fitting of the crown.
  • Proper care and maintenance after the procedure extend the life of your dental crown.

Understanding Dental Crowns and Their Purpose

A dental crown restores a tooth’s shape, strength, and appearance. It’s a cap that covers the visible part of the tooth, offering protection and stability.

Types of Dental Crowns: Materials and Options

There are several materials used for dental crowns, each with unique benefits:

  • Porcelain: Matches the color of your natural teeth and is prized for its aesthetic appeal.
  • Ceramic: Provides a similar look to porcelain but is often used for front teeth due to its ability to blend with your natural tooth color.
  • Zirconia: Combines the strength of metal with the appearance of porcelain, offering durability and a natural look.
  • Metal: Includes gold crowns, known for their strength and longevity but less so for appearance.
  • Gold: A type of metal crown favored for its durability and biocompatibility, though noticeable in color.

Temporary crowns are often made from acrylic-based materials and provide a temporary solution until a permanent crown is fabricated.

The Dental Crown Process : When and Why You Might Need One

Dental crowns are recommended when:

  • A tooth is significantly damaged or decayed and needs to be protected.
  • After a root canal, to protect the weakened tooth.
  • To improve the appearance of a discolored or poorly shaped tooth.
  • To anchor a dental bridge securely in place.
  • To cover a dental implant providing a tooth-like shape and structure.

Your dentist may suggest a temporary crown to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is being made. The permanent crown is typically constructed from more durable materials and is designed to last many years, provided proper oral hygiene is maintained.

Initial Consultation and Preparation for Dental Care Process

During your initial consultation, your dentist will conduct a thorough examination and capture detailed x-rays to assess the health of your tooth.

If deemed necessary, they will prepare your tooth and take impressions to create a precise crown fitting.

Examination and X-Rays

Your dentist will start with an examination of the affected tooth to determine the extent of decay or damage.

They will closely inspect your oral health to ensure suitability for a dental crown.

X-rays are taken to provide a detailed image of the tooth’s roots and surrounding bone, often revealing issues that aren’t visible during a routine dental examination.

  • Assessment for Decay/Damage: Look for any sign of decay or structural damage in the tooth that requires a crown.
  • X-Ray Analysis: Evaluate the condition of the tooth’s roots and jawbone to ensure a stable foundation for the crown.

Tooth Preparation and Impressions

Before taking impressions, the dentist will numb the area with anesthetic to ensure your comfort.

The tooth preparation involves reshaping the enamel of the damaged tooth to make room for the crown. This step is crucial to ensure a proper fit and function of the crown.

  • Administration of Anesthetic: Local anesthetic is applied to minimize discomfort during preparation.
  • Reshaping the Tooth: Your tooth will be filed down to remove decay and shape it for the crown.
  • Impression Taking: Accurate impressions of your prepped tooth and the opposite tooth are made to create a well-fitting crown.

The impressions are sent to a dental lab where your custom crown will be crafted. Meanwhile, you may receive a temporary crown to protect the prepared tooth.

The Dental Crown Process: Understanding Fitting

Once your tooth has been prepared, the crown fitting process involves several key steps, from a temporary solution to the final, permanent restoration.

Fitting the Temporary Crown

After your dentist has reshaped your tooth and taken the necessary impressions, they will place a temporary crown over your tooth.

This protects your tooth from damage and sensitivity while your permanent crown is being made at a dental lab.

The temporary crown is usually made of an acrylic-based material and is cemented in place with temporary adhesive, making it easy to remove later.

Steps for Temporary Crown Fitting:

  • Tooth reshaping
  • Impression taking
  • Temporary crown placement

Creating the Permanent Crown

A mold or digital impression of your tooth is sent to the dental lab, where technicians craft your permanent crown.

This crown is typically made from porcelain, ceramic, metal, or a combination of materials, designed to endure the force of your bite and match the color of your adjacent teeth.

Considerations for Permanent Crown:

  • Material durability
  • Color matching
  • Bite compatibility

Placement and Adjustment during Dental Crown Process

During the final visit, your dentist removes the temporary crown and fits the permanent crown onto your tooth.

Before it is cemented, adjustments are made to ensure a proper fit that aligns with your bite.

Once both you and your dentist are satisfied with the fit and appearance, the crown is cemented into place, completing the crown placement process.

Final Placement Checklist:

  • Removal of the temporary crown
  • Fit and bite adjustments
  • Permanent crown is cemented and polished

Post-Procedure Care and Maintenance After Dental Crown Process

After your dental crown procedure, it is critical to follow a care regimen to ensure the longevity and functionality of your new crown.

Proper maintenance is key to protecting the health of the natural tooth and the endurance of the dental implant if you have one.

Longevity and Durability

Your dental crown is designed to last many years, but its durability is influenced by how you take care of it.

Adhere to these guidelines to maximize its lifespan:

  • Avoid hard foods that can cause damage, such as ice or hard candies.
  • Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth at night or if you play contact sports.
  • Monitor the crown for signs of wear or damage, such as chips or cracks, and visit your dentist if needed.

Oral Hygiene and Lifestyle Adjustments

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for the recovery and endurance of your dental crown.

Incorporate these practices into your routine:

  • Brush twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste to prevent plaque build-up.
  • Floss daily to remove debris between the teeth and prevent decay at the margin of the crown.
  • Consider using antimicrobial mouth rinse to reduce bacterial plaque.

If you’ve been contemplating a dental crown and you live in the Pacific Northwest, schedule that initial consultation with one of our Smiles Dental Offices near you. Take charge of your oral health, address concerns, and set realistic expectations for the journey ahead.

Top-Notch Smiles Start in Our Dental Office

The Smiles team is pleased to provide excellent dentistry in the Pacific Northwest. Contact the office nearest you today to learn more about what we can do for your smile!

Visit our sister locations at Optima Dental Spa!