You may be able to improve the appearance, strength, and function of your crooked, discolored, decayed, or damaged tooth with a dental crown. Today, our London dentists explain the dental crown procedure, so you know what to expect.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown can also be called a cap and is a dental restoration that covers (or 'caps') a tooth to restore its shape, size and colour.
Dental crowns are able to help improve the strength, function, and appearance of a tooth that has been damaged or decayed, that would otherwise have to be extracted and replaced.
In addition to this, 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 relatively strong because they are often made from porcelain, a material that can protect and strengthen the remaining tooth structure.
The Dental Crown Placement Process
Patients generally need to attend at least two appointments at their dentist's office for a dental crown to be placed. Once your dentist determines you need a crown, here's what you can expect at each appointment.
Your First Appointment
In order to get ready for the crown, your dentist will first examine your mouth and prepare the tooth.
To prepare the tooth, your dentist will file down and remove part of the outer layer of the tooth. Next, they will take an impression of the trimmed tooth and the surrounding teeth, and place a temporary crown over the tooth to protect it. The temporary crown is placed using temporary cement so that it can come off easily 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 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.
Your 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.
Taking Care of Your 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.