Dental Crown Procedure

A dental crown at kitsap dental clinic is a fixed, non-removable prosthetic device that is cemented on an existing tooth or implant by a prosthodontist or dentist.  Frequently used to cover or “cap” a tooth in its entirety, a crown can also be used to hold a dental bridge in place, support teeth with large fillings, restore cosmetic defects, or prevent a tooth weakened from decay from further deterioration.  While commonly used to treat the teeth of adults, crowns can also be used on the primary (baby) teeth of children at high risk for tooth decay or who have difficulties adhering to a stringent oral hygiene routine.

The dental crown installation procedure generally takes two separate visits to the dentist.  The initial visit centers around consultation, examination, and preparing the effected tooth (or teeth) for the crown.  During this visit, the dentist might take X-rays to check the tooth roots and surrounding bone to determine if extensive decay is present that could necessitate a root canal treatment prior to receiving the crown.  Once the examination is complete, the dentist will anesthetize the tooth and surrounding gum tissue before reshaping the sides and chewing surface of the tooth in order to create room for the crown.  How much of the tooth is removed during shaping is dependent on the type of crown being used.  If there is a large portion of the tooth missing because of damage or decay, the dentist will use material to fill in the area to support the crown.

Once the tooth has been properly reshaped, an impression will be taken of the tooth receiving the crown using a paste, putty, or in some cases a digital scanner.  Impressions of the teeth above and below the tooth receiving the crown are also made to ensure the crown will not affect the patient’s bite.  The impressions are then sent to a dental lab for the crown to be manufactured.  Since it often takes two to three weeks for the crown to be made and returned to the dentist, the dentist will place a temporary crown to protect and cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is manufactured.

Once the dental crown has been manufactured and sent back to the dentist, the patient is ready for the second visit to place the crown.  The dentist will first remove the temporary crown that was previously placed.  They will then ensure that the new, permanent crown properly fits and matches to the color of the surrounding teeth.  If the dentist finds everything to be satisfactory, the patient will receive a local anesthetic to numb the area and the permanent crown is fastened into place using a special adhesive.

After the crown has been placed, the patient may feel some discomfort or sensitivity in the newly crowned tooth.  While sensitivity can sometimes be managed with toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth, if the crowned tooth still has a nerve, pain that occurs when biting can be a sign that the crown was improperly placed.  In these instances, the patient should contact the dentist as the issue can easily be fixed.  Patients should also contact their dentist should the crown chip, become loose, or fall off as these can all lead to additional oral health issues.

More information on Dental Crowns : How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

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