Dental crowns are a popular dental treatment that can restore a damaged or weakened tooth to its original shape, size, and function. A dental crown is essentially a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a damaged tooth, fully encasing it to restore its structure and appearance. Dental crowns can be made from a variety of materials, including porcelain, ceramic, metal, and resin, and can be customized to match the color and shape of your natural teeth. In this article, we’ll explore the dental crown procedure, from consultation to aftercare, to give you a better idea of what to expect.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is a type of dental restoration that is used to cover or cap a damaged or weakened tooth. The crown is typically made from materials like porcelain, metal, or a combination of the two, and is custom-fitted to the shape and size of the tooth.
1- Consultation: Is dental crown a good treatment for you?
The first step in getting a dental crown is to schedule a consultation with your dentist. During this consultation, your dentist will examine your teeth and determine if a dental crown is the best treatment option for your needs.
They may take x-rays to get a better look at the damage or decay and determine if the underlying tooth structure is healthy enough to support a crown. If a dental crown is the recommended treatment, your dentist will discuss the procedure with you and answer any questions you may have.
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2- Preparation: Prepare tooth for crown
Once you and your dentist have decided to proceed with a dental crown, the next step is to prepare the tooth for the crown.
This involves removing any decayed or damaged areas of the tooth and shaping the remaining tooth structure to create a stable foundation for the crown. Your dentist will numb the area with local anesthesia to ensure that you’re comfortable during the procedure. They will then take an impression of your prepared tooth and the surrounding teeth, which will be sent to a dental lab to create your custom crown. In the meantime, your dentist will place a temporary crown over the prepared tooth to protect it until your permanent crown is ready.
3- Placement: Crown is placed on the tooth
Once your custom crown is ready, your dentist will schedule an appointment to place it. During this appointment, they will remove the temporary crown and clean the prepared tooth to ensure that the permanent crown will adhere properly.
They will then place the crown over the prepared tooth and check for a proper fit and bite. If any adjustments are necessary, they will make them at this time. Once the crown is in place, your dentist will cement it into place, completing the procedure.
Dental crown procedure pain
The dental crown procedure itself should not be painful, as your dentist will use local anesthesia to numb the area before starting the procedure. You may feel some pressure or discomfort as your dentist prepares the tooth for the crown, but you should not experience any pain.
After the procedure, it is normal to experience some sensitivity or discomfort in the affected tooth for a few days. This is because the tooth and surrounding tissue may have been irritated during the preparation process. Over-the-counter pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve any discomfort, and your dentist may also recommend a special toothpaste or mouthwash to help alleviate sensitivity.
If you experience any severe pain or discomfort that is not relieved by over-the-counter pain medication, or if you notice any swelling or signs of infection, it is important to contact your dentist as soon as possible, as this could be a sign of a complication.
Dental crown aftercare
After the dental crown procedure, it’s important to take good care of your new crown to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Your dentist will provide you with specific aftercare instructions, but here are some general guidelines to follow:
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly, paying special attention to the area around the crown.
- Avoid hard or sticky foods that could damage the crown.
- Schedule regular dental checkups to ensure that the crown is functioning properly and to address any potential issues early on.
- If you notice any discomfort or looseness with your crown, contact your dentist as soon as possible to have it evaluated.
A dental crown can be a highly effective treatment for restoring a damaged or weakened tooth, and the procedure itself is relatively straightforward. By understanding the dental crown procedure, from consultation to aftercare, you can be better prepared for what to expect and make an informed decision about whether a dental crown is the right treatment option for you.