Dental restoration can take on many forms, and one of the most common restoration procedures is the dental crown, which involves a dentist putting a cap over an existing tooth that is compromised in some way. The crown improves or enhances tooth size, function, or appearance, and once cemented in place, covers the entire tooth.
What Is a Dental Crown Procedure?
Getting a dental crown involves two visits to the dentist. During the first, the dentist shapes the tooth and prepares it. The patient wears a temporary crown while the lab creates the final version, which the dentist puts in place on a second visit.
When is a Dental Crown Necessary?
Several different situations may require a patient to have a dental crown procedure done.
Large fillings, when a cavity becomes larger than one-half the width of a tooth, are one such case that necessitates crowns. Since the tooth can become compromised from such a large cavity, the crown’s job is to protect it.
Root canals are another reason a patient may need a crown. The root canal process hollows out the tooth and leaves it susceptible to damage like cracking. Dental crowns protect what’s left of the tooth.
Certain conditions cause excessive wear on teeth that need to be corrected with crowns, such as grinding, bulimia, acid reflux, or an acidic diet.
Some people opt for dental crowns for reasons that are purely cosmetic, such as discoloration, awkward shape, unevenness, or to fill in gaps.
What Can You Expect From a Dental Crown Procedure?
Now that you know some dental crown basics, let’s move on to another critical question: what is a dental crown procedure like? Though the procedure for dental crowns is relatively straightforward, knowing what to expect before you go can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
During your first visit, you receive x-rays so the dentist can see the state of the tooth and discover any issues that might affect treatment. It’s important to note that a root canal may be necessary for some patients before undergoing the dental crown procedure.
After the x-rays, the tooth is shaped so the crown can fit on the tooth. The dentist may use filling material at this point if there’s not enough tooth for the crown to affix to, and once the tooth is shaped, the dentist takes impressions of it using putty.
At this point, the dentist will talk to you about the aesthetics of the tooth, as the crown should be the same color as the rest of your teeth. If you’re considering whitening, now is the time to consult with your dentist about this. They’ll also discuss which material will work best for you.
Before the end of your first visit, you receive a temporary crown. The temporary crown is partly cosmetic, but it’s also critical because a substantial amount of tooth structure is removed to prepare it for the crown. The temporary crown protects the tooth until the final version is available.
On the day of your second visit, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and put in the final version. This point is when they will check to make sure everything is right: the fit is correct, there’s enough space between the crown and the surrounding teeth, and the color matches. Before your dentist cements the crown into place, all changes to the crown must be final.
Once your dentist is satisfied that the crown is perfect, the cementing process begins. You receive a numbing shot, and the dentist may give you a desensitizing agent to help with sensitivity after the procedure. Your mouth must be completely dry before the bonding agent is applied, and your dentist will place cotton rolls on both sides of the tooth.
Once your mouth is dry, and the bonding agent has been applied, your dentist places the crown on your tooth. It must dry for about ten minutes, and once it does, the dentist completes one final check to make sure your bite and the positioning is correct.
What Types of Dental Crowns Should You Use?
There are several types of dental crowns made from different materials:
- Stainless steel
- Metal alloys
- Composite resin
Your dentist will discuss which of these options will work best for you. The decision comes down to many factors, such as the crown’s location, your natural tooth color, the tooth’s function, and how much tooth shows when you smile.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Dental Crown?
One common question when getting a dental crown procedure, is how long does the entire process take?
As we mentioned, the procedure usually includes at least two dentist visits. The length of time between the first and second can take up to three weeks while the impressions of your teeth are sent to the laboratory to be prepared. While this time can vary, you will leave your first appointment with a date set to have the permanent crown put in.
How Painful Is a Dental Crown Procedure?
Patients are typically concerned about dental crown procedure pain, but the experience is relatively pain-free because the tooth being treated is numbed with a local anesthetic. The shot may produce a bit of discomfort, but you won’t feel anything else during the procedure.
Once the anesthesia has worn off, there may be some soreness or sensitivity in the area, but this discomfort is minimal and goes away fairly quickly.
How Much Do Dental Crown Procedures Cost?
Another important concern patients have is the total dental crown procedure cost. The amount you can expect to pay varies depending on many factors, such as the type of crown used, where you live, and how much your insurance covers. While your dentist can give you a more precise estimate, expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $1700 per crown.
Dental Crowns: The Next Steps
As you can see, the procedure is straightforward, relatively pain-free, and produces fantastic results. If you’re considering getting one, contact A-Dental Center, experts in dental crowns North Hollywood, for a dental crown procedure consultation.