A dental crown is a versatile solution for restoring or cosmetically enhancing your smile. It is essentially a tooth-colored dental cap that fits over your natural tooth structure to restore the tooth’s integrity, function, and appearance.
Your dentist may prescribe a dental crown for a broken, fractured, or severely cracked tooth. You may also be fitted with a crown if your tooth is severely decayed, worn, discolored, or misshapen. Dental crowns can also be used to restore a tooth after root canal treatment and dental implant surgery.
How is Dental Crown Procedure Performed?
Creating and placing a crown happens in several stages and may require multiple visits to the dentist.
- Shading and Full Mouth Impressions. To create a custom crown that perfectly blends with your natural teeth, the lab needs full mouth impressions to construct the correct bite surface and ensure that your teeth are properly aligned once the crown is placed. Your dentist pours alginate into an impression tray and presses it into both your maxillary and mandibular arch. This mold is then used to create a cast of your teeth that is sent to the offsite lab. Your dentist also uses a gradient color guide to choose the correct tooth shade to match the rest of your teeth.
- Numbing the Area. Before proceeding with the tooth preparation, your dentist applies a numbing gel to the site of the affected tooth, then injects a local anesthetic. This ensures you are comfortable throughout the treatment.
- Tooth Preparation. Your dentist prepares the tooth by shaving down the enamel to create a conical core to accommodate the crown. During this stage, your dentist may discover additional decay beneath the tooth’s broken section or the filling that needs to be removed before they can shape the tooth. If you have a damaged filling, the filling material is also removed.
- Secondary Impressions. The dentist takes an impression of the prepared tooth to provide the lab with data to create the crown’s interior, ensuring that it fits snuggly. The impression is taken using a polyvinyl siloxane putty.
- Placing a Temporary Crown. To protect your tooth while the permanent crown is being fabricated, your dentist places a temporary crown over the prepared tooth. The temporary crown is crafted directly onto the tooth surface from composite resin. Then it is shaped to ensure a comfortable bite.
- Cementing the Permanent Crown. Once your crown is ready, your dentist removes the temporary crown, cleans your tooth, and places the permanent crown. After establishing that the crown fits, it is cemented in place using a strong dental adhesive. Your dentist checks your bite using articulating paper. Any high points on the crown will be adjusted on the corresponding opposite tooth to prevent a misaligned bite that could result in hypersensitivity or discomfort.
Restore Your Smile at Steger Smiles
Dental crowns can last up to 10 years with the right care. Maintain a regular oral hygiene routine, avoid hard foods, and stop bad habits like nail-biting or chewing ice to prolong the life of your crowns.
If you have experienced dental trauma, a damaged filling, or suspect you need root canal treatment, call Steger Smiles to schedule an appointment for a dental consultation and begin your journey to a healthy smile.