Dental crowns are a restorative dental treatment that can help restore a damaged, decayed, discoloured, or crooked tooth's strength, function, and appearance. The dentists at Arrowsmith Dental Group in Parksville explain what to expect when getting a dental crown.
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, function, and appearance of a damaged or decayed tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted and replaced.
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 are quite strong because they are often made of porcelain, a material that protects and strengthens the remaining tooth structure.
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
To prepare for a crown, your dentist will first examine your mouth and then prepare the tooth.
Your dentist will file down and remove a portion of the tooth's outer layer to prepare it. After that, they'll take an impression of the trimmed tooth and the surrounding teeth and protect it with a temporary crown. Temporary cement is used to secure the temporary crown so that it can be easily removed once the permanent crown is ready.
Your dentist will send a dental laboratory your unique tooth impression to create your permanent crown, which could take several weeks.
The laboratory technician can examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements using your impression and sculpt a crown specifically for you.
Your dentist will also determine the colour of your teeth to assist the technician in creating a crown that matches the rest of your teeth.
The Second Appointment
You'll return to your dentist for the second appointment once the crown is ready. During this appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary crown from your tooth and replace it with the permanent crown.
The permanent crown is then placed on the tooth and checked for proper fit, bite, and margins. The crown is cemented with permanent cement or dental glue after any necessary adjustments have been made.
Caring for a Dental Crown
Dental crowns can last anywhere from 10 to 20 years with proper care. They are still vulnerable to damage, so brushing and flossing around crowned teeth should be done with caution to avoid them needing to be replaced prematurely.