Dental crowns are a very common treatment for a tooth that has extensive decay or is badly broken. One study found that 40% of Americans over the age of 55 have at least one crown in their mouth.
If your dentist is recommending that you need a crown, you may be a bit nervous or unsure of what to expect. But having a dental crown placed is no more uncomfortable than having a routine filling done. Here are five things you can expect when getting a dental crown.
1. Impressions Will Be Taken
A dental crown is like a cap that fits over your tooth to restore its appearance and make it functional again. This means once the dentist removes enough tooth structure to their satisfaction, they need to make an impression of the tooth so a custom-made crown can be created.
Your dentist may take the tooth impression the old school way, which is having you bite into a dental material that creates a mold that is then sent to a dental lab. They will need to take impressions before and after shaping the tooth and preparing it for the crown. Or they may use the latest technology that takes digital x-rays of your mouth so you don’t have to have to endure molding goop in your mouth.
Either way, an impression ensures the crown will look like your natural tooth and fits perfectly in between other teeth.
2. You’ll Receive Local Anesthesia
Because the dentist needs to use high-speed shaping tools to remove the outer areas of the tooth, you’ll receive a shot of local anesthetic to numb the area of the mouth being worked on. If sedation dentistry is available such as laughing gas, you’ll be offered that option. Many people report that the procedure isn’t painful or uncomfortable at all.
If the crown is going onto a tooth that received a root canal to strengthen it, you may still receive anesthesia. Sometimes the dental tools can irritate the gums, and numbing the area can make the procedure more comfortable.
3. It Will Require More Than One Appointment
Dental crowns often require a few dentist visits, so anticipate being in the dental chair more than once. While some dentists can offer same-day crowns, many still send the impressions to a lab. Then the patient wears a temporary crown to protect the tooth and return on a later date to receive the permanent one.
And if the crown needs to be adjusted, it will be sent back to the lab and you’ll need to come back for another appointment.
4. You’ll Receive a Temporary Crown
As mentioned, you’ll have to wear a temporary crown until the permanent crown is ready to be placed onto your tooth. The temporary fixture will help protect your tooth. You should expect, however, that it won’t be a perfect fit and you may have to chew food on the other side of your mouth until you receive the permanent crown.
5. You’ll Need to Keep it Clean
Once you receive a dental crown, you’ll need to keep up with your oral care routine and continue to brush and floss your teeth as usual. Knowing how to clean dental crowns is important so that you protect your tooth from further decay or gum irritation. You should also still visit your dentist every six months for regular check-ups and cleanings.
Getting a Dental Crown is Painless
Getting a dental crown made and placed is a standard service most dentists offer. Now that you know what to expect, your appointment should be stress-free.
For tips on keeping your smile shiny and white, visit our Health section.