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The Dental Crown Procedure: Step by Step

For many, the idea of getting a dental crown can be quite overwhelming. Whether it’s dealing with decay or damage or wanting to improve the look of your teeth, the thought of dental procedures can bring about feelings of uncertainty. However, understanding what happens step by step during the dental crown procedure can help ease these worries.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through each phase of the dental crown procedure, from the initial consultation to the crown placement. Our aim is to demystify the dental crown process, providing you with the information you need to feel more confident about your dental health decisions.

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is like a cap or covering that goes over a tooth that’s already there. It’s used to enhance the appearance of a tooth that’s decayed or broken while also making it stronger. Crowns can be crafted from various materials like porcelain, zirconia, gold alloy, or a mix of porcelain and metal.

When do I need a dental crown?

You might need a dental crown in the following situations:

  • If you have a broken or cracked tooth.
  • If you have severe tooth decay.
  • After undergoing root canal treatment.
  • To protect a weakened tooth.
  • To support a dental bridge or denture.
  • Additionally, dental crowns cover stained or misshapen teeth.

What happens during a dental crown procedure?

The steps to the dental crown procedure are:

Initial Consultation:

The first step is an initial consultation with your dentist. During this appointment, your dentist will carefully check your teeth and have a discussion with you to determine if a dental crown is the most suitable solution for your individual needs.

Tooth Preparation:

The next step is tooth preparation if a dental crown is deemed necessary. Your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the affected tooth and its surrounding area. Then, they will shape the tooth by removing a small amount of enamel to make room for the crown.

Taking Impressions:

Once the tooth is prepared, your dentist will take impressions of the teeth. These impressions will act as a mold for creating your custom-made dental crown. Impressions can be made using traditional putty-like materials or digitally scanned using advanced technology.

Temporary Crown Placement:

While your permanent crown is being custom-made in a dental lab, the dentist will put a temporary crown over the prepared tooth. This temporary crown serves to protect the tooth and preserve its function and appearance until the permanent crown is completed.

Crown Fabrication:

The dental impressions are forwarded to a dental lab, where skilled technicians will create your permanent crown. The crown is made from materials like porcelain, ceramic, and metal alloys or by combining these materials. The fabrication process usually takes about two to three weeks.

Final Placement:

Your dentist will replace the temporary crown and place a permanent crown on the prepared tooth. They will verify that the crown fits correctly and make any required adjustments before securely cementing it into position.

Final Adjustments:

After cementing the crown, your dentist will make final adjustments to ensure proper fit, alignment, and bite. They may also polish the crown to match the shine of your natural teeth.

Aftercare Instructions:

Finally, your dentist will provide you with aftercare instructions to help you maintain your new crown. This may include suggestions for proper oral hygiene, dietary guidelines, and regular dental check-ups to ensure the longevity of your crown.

What are the benefits and risks of a dental crown procedure?

Benefits and Risks of Dental Crowns are:

Benefits of Dental Crown:

  • Restoration of Functionality: Dental crowns restore weakened teeth’ function and make it easier to chew and bite without discomfort.
  • Improving Smile Appearance: Crowns enhance your smile by covering up stains, discolorations, or oddly shaped teeth, giving you a more confident grin.
  • Protection: They shield vulnerable teeth, preventing further damage from decay or fractures.
  • Long-lasting: Dental crowns made from robust materials like porcelain or metal can last for many years, 
  • Versatility: Crowns can serve multiple purposes, like fixing severely decayed teeth, supporting dental bridges, or topping dental implants.

Risks of Dental Crown:

  • Tooth Sensitivity: Some people might feel temporary sensitivity after getting a crown, especially if the tooth’s nerve was exposed during the process.
  • Allergic Reactions: Though rare, allergic reactions to crown materials can happen, leading to discomfort or swelling in the mouth.
  • Risk of Decay: Poor oral hygiene could cause decay or gum disease around the crown’s edges, undermining its effectiveness.
  • Damage Potential: Even though crowns are sturdy, they can still break or come loose if subjected to too much force or trauma.
  • Adjacent Tooth Wear: In some cases, nearby teeth may experience wear or damage due to the crown’s fit or alignment.

What are the Complications of undergoing a Dental Crown Procedure?

While getting a dental crown is generally safe, there are a few things to keep in mind:

Tooth Sensitivity:

After the tooth preparation, you might feel sensitivity to hot or cold foods and drinks. This usually goes away on its own within a few days or weeks.

Speech Changes:

You may experience some changes in your speech as you adjust to the new shape of your teeth with the crown. This is normal and should improve with time.

Infection or Inflammation:

Though uncommon, there’s a small risk of infection or inflammation around the treated tooth. Good dental hygiene and your dentist’s instructions can help prevent this.

Bleeding:

If you’re taking blood-thinning medication, you may experience some bleeding during or after the procedure. Your dentist will take all the precautions to minimize this risk and ensure your safety.

Dental Bridge

Fixed, not removable

Costs an average of around $2,500+ depending on the type of material chosen and the number of teeth required- another factor is the type of bridge

Requires 2 or more appointments over the course of a few weeks

Usually requires replacement after about 10 to 15 years, may last about 10 with proper care and maintenance

Dental Implants

Fixed, not removable

Costs $5,000+ for a single implant and up to $60,000+ for full-mouth restoration. Hybrid options cost an average of $12,000 per arch

Requires multiple appointments over several months to a year or more

Implant screw should last a lifetime but the restoration may need to be replaced after about 20 years

What are the alternatives to getting a dental crown?

Instead of opting for a dental crown, you can explore other options with your dentist:

Dental bridges:

These fixed prosthetic devices fill the gap left by a missing tooth, attaching to the adjacent teeth for support.

Veneers:

Thin layers of porcelain or composite resin are bonded to the front surface of teeth to improve their appearance.

Inlays or Onlays:

Custom-made restorations repair mild to moderate tooth decay or damage, preserving more of the natural tooth structure than crowns.

Dental implants:

These are artificial roots for teeth that are surgically inserted into the jawbone. They serve as a foundation to support replacement teeth and offer a long-lasting solution for your missing teeth.

Conclusion

The dental crown procedure is a carefully orchestrated series of steps to restore and improve the function and appearance of damaged teeth. From the first consultation to the final placement of the crown, each phase is crucial in ensuring successful outcomes and patient satisfaction. By understanding what to expect throughout the process, patients can approach their dental treatment with confidence and clarity, knowing they’re on the path to a healthier smile.

Ready to take the next step toward a brighter smile? Contact Precision Dental in New Port Richey, FL, today to schedule your dental crown procedure. Whether you’re a new or returning patient, booking an appointment is easy. Simply call us at 727-219-1369 for new patients or 727-494-7179 for current patients, or visit our website to book online. Let us help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted!

FAQs

The duration of the dental crown procedure varies depending on factors such as the complexity of the case and the materials used. Typically, it may require two to three appointments spread over several weeks.

Your comfort is a priority during the procedure. Your dentist will use local anesthesia to ensure you feel little to no discomfort. Afterward, you may experience mild sensitivity, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication.

With proper care and maintenance, dental crowns can last for many years, usually ranging from 10 to 15 years or even longer. Regular dental check-ups and good oral hygiene are key to maximizing longevity.

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