Dental crowns protect and preserve your tooth’s structure to restore the functionality and appearance of your smile. They are the ideal restoration for people who have severe decay that treatments such as fillings or composite bonding cannot fix. A dental crown is also necessary for patients following root canal therapy or a dental implant procedure.
However, going to the dentist can be unnerving for many patients, but understanding the steps involved with a dental crown procedure can help alleviate any anxiety and ensure you get the dental care you need.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a customised tooth cap that looks and functions the same way as your natural tooth crown – the visible part of your tooth.
Dental crowns can be made from various materials, including gold alloy, ceramic, zirconia, and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). Ceramic and PFM dental crowns are typically used for teeth near the front of the mouth, as they blend seamlessly into your natural smile.
Gold alloy dental crowns are preferred for premolars and molars, as the toughened metal can withstand the intense bite pressure exerted on the back teeth. However, PFM crowns are also highly durable and are a popular choice for restorations on the back teeth.
During your initial dental crown consultation, your dentist examines your mouth and discusses which option is suitable for your needs.
Am I a Candidate for Dental Crowns?
You could be a suitable candidate for dental crowns if you have:
- Severely decayed teeth
- Cracked or broken teeth
- Large dental fillings that need replacement
- Undergone root canal treatment
- Undergone a dental implant procedure
Dental crowns can also be used to cosmetically enhance your smile by covering chipped, misshapen, or gapped teeth.
The Dental Crown Procedure
The dental implant procedure is completed over two sessions, 2-3 weeks apart. The stages include:
Before the treatment, the dentist applies a numbing gel to the affected area and injects a local anaesthetic to thoroughly numb the tooth so that you only feel slight pressure during the procedure. At Dapto Dentists, we also offer dental sedation for anxious patients administered intravenously.
Taking Full Mouth Impressions
Before preparing the tooth, your dentist takes full mouth impressions to create a mould that helps ensure correct bite alignment and makes the most natural-looking smile. The dentist injects a rubber mouth tray with alginate and presses it into your teeth.
Once the resin is set, the tray is removed and filled with modelling material to create a 3D representation of your teeth to send to the lab along with your post-preparation impressions.
Preparing the Tooth
To accommodate the dental crown, your dentist must first prepare your tooth by grinding off a small amount of enamel and shaping the tooth into a cone.
If you have preexisting oral health issues, such as deep cavities, your dentist removes the decayed tissue before shaping the tooth.
Taking a Single Tooth Impression
Once the tooth is prepared, the dentist applies polyvinyl siloxane to the tooth and a rubber mould, then asks you to bite down. This enables the dentist to take an impression and create a mould of the tooth’s inner cavity and the biting surface.
Placing the Temporary Crown
To protect your tooth core while you wait for your dental crown to be fabricated at the off-site lab, you are fitted with a temporary crown secured in place using mild adhesive.
Bonding the Permanent Crown
After 2-3 weeks, your permanent crown should be ready for placement. The dentist tries out the dental crown’s fit at your second appointment and makes any adjustments before bonding the tooth in place with high strength dental cement.
Visit Dapto Dentists to Restore Your Smile with Dental Crowns
If you want to enhance your smile’s appearance or restore functionality to your bite, contact Dapto Dentists at (02) 4210 9058 to book your initial consultation. Discuss the dental crown procedure with our experienced team to determine if it is the right option for your smile.