Dental crowns are restorative dental treatments that can help to reinforce the strength change the appearance and improve the function of a discoloured, damaged or decayed tooth. Here, our Newmarket dentists share what they should expect from a dental crown procedure.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a dental restoration that covers (or 'caps') a tooth to restore its shape, size and colour.
Dental crowns can help to improve the strength and function of a damaged or decayed tooth while also altering its appearance. In some cases, this may save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted.
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 can be quite strong since they are generally made from porcelain, a material that will reinforce the remaining tooth structures.
The Crown Procedure
To place a dental crown generally requires at least two appointments at your dental office. Once your dentist determines you need a crown, here's what you can expect at 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 part of the outer layer of the tooth. After that, they will take an impression of the trimmed tooth and the surrounding teeth, placing a temporary crown over the tooth in order to protect it. This temporary crown is placed using a temporary cement so it can be removed when the 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 this impression, the laboratory technician will be able to retain all the aspects of your bite and jaw movements in order to sculpt a crown just for you. Your dentist will also be sure to determine the shade of your teeth to help your technician to make a crown that will match the colour of the rest of your smile.
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.
The permanent crown is first placed on the tooth and inspected for acceptable fit, bite and smooth margins. After any necessary adjustments have been made, the crown is cemented with permanent cement or dental glue.
Caring for a Dental Crown
With the proper care, dental crowns can last on average from 10 to 20 years. They are still subject to damage, so it is important to take care in brushing and flossing around crowned teeth to prevent them from needing to be replaced too soon.