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Whether it’s from a traumatic injury or general wear, a dental crown can improve your dental health. Learn about the dental crown process here.

Singular dental crowns are the most popular restorative procedure done in the United States. In fact, there are approximately 2.3 million crowns manufactured each year.

With the popularity of the dental crown process, it’s likely that you may find yourself one day needing this incredible procedure.

But before you jump into any restorative procedure, you’ll likely have plenty of questions. That’s why it’s important that you know the facts.

What Is A Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are essentially tooth-shaped caps. Metal, porcelain, resin, or ceramics are all materials used to manufacture crowns. They’re used to restore teeth to their proper size, shape, strength, and appearance.

It is common for teeth to decay or otherwise deteriorate as people get older. Injuries and tooth damage are also easily fixed by dental crowns.

Dental crowns are much more efficient than regular fillings. Usually, dentists will opt for this route on tooth restorations where fillings are not enough.

Dental-grade cement is used to keep crowns in place. When in place, they will fully cover the entire visible portion of the tooth. This means that crowns extend all the way to the gum line.

When Is A Dental Crown Necessary?

There are a variety of reasons your dentist or orthodontist may recommend a dental crown. The most common reason is to strengthen a decaying or cracked tooth.

Other reasons include:

  • Restoring a broken or worn down tooth
  • Keeping a dental bridge in place
  • Supporting a tooth with a large filling by covering the hole
  • Covering dental implants
  • Covering teeth that have had a root canal procedure
  • Covering misshapen or discolored teeth for aesthetic purposes

The Dental Crown Process

The dental crown method can be quite involved, though it is not difficult. Rather, the steps and visits to prepare you for your crown will ensure a proper fit and pristine appearance.

Usually, dental crown preparation involves two visits to your dentist. The first visit is to prepare and examine the tooth, including making any casts or measurements necessary for the actual placement of the crown. The second visit is when the placement will occur.

The First Visit

To prepare your tooth and crown, your dentist will do a few things at your initial visit. First, your dentist will likely take a few X-rays to check the health of the roots and bones of the tooth receiving the crown.

If X-ray results are less than ideal, your dentist may suggest a root canal prior to the dental crown procedure.

Shaping The Tooth

Next, your dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding area. This is so they may begin reshaping the tooth’s sides and chewing surface to make room for the crown. The amount of shaping required will depend on which type of crown you’ll be getting.

In some cases, teeth may already be too decayed to be shaved down. When this happens, your dentist will instead use the first visit to “build up” the tooth with a special filling material. This will help support the crown.

Impressions Of The Mouth

After shaping your tooth, your dentist will then make an impression of your mouth. Dentists will use a paste or putty to make this impression. Some dentists may also use a digital scanner.

The impression will include not only the tooth receiving the crown but of the whole mouth. This ensures the crown does not affect your bite or cause any other damage to your jaw or the surrounding teeth.

These impressions or scans will then be sent to a lab that will begin manufacturing the crown. The manufacturing process usually takes around two to three weeks. In the meantime, your dentist will place a temporary crown on to protect the tooth.

The Second Visit

The second visit is when your dentist will actually place the permanent crown onto the tooth. Your dentist will remove the temporary crown and ensure the permanent one is the proper size, shape, and color.

If everything looks correct, you will once again receive a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and surrounding gum area. The new crown will then be placed onto the tooth permanently. Using a dentist-grade cementing solution, the crown will be permanently locked into place.

Dental Crown Recovery

While there is no lengthy recovery period for a dental crown procedure, you should still make sure you’re taking proper care of the new crown.

With the proper care, dental crowns will last an average of five to 15 years. Some tips to keep your crowns lasting longer and looking better include:

  • Brush your teeth twice a day
  • Consider switching to a sensitive toothpaste if you noticed increased sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Floss daily
  • Avoid hard foods, especially with porcelain crowns
  • Consider a nightguard if you grind or clench your teeth

Dental crowns usually don’t require anything super special to stay in top shape. Rather, focus on having a healthy and consistent dental care routine overall. This will support the longevity of your new crown.

FAQ: Do Dental Crowns Hurt?

In general, the dental crown process is not a painful one. Because your dentist will be using a local anesthetic, your tooth and gums will be numb throughout the duration of the dental crown process.

The only pain typically associated with a dental crown comes from a slight pinch when applying the anesthetic. Dental crowns are also not associated with any lingering pain.

Instead, you may feel numbness for a few hours that will quickly disappear, leaving you with a fresh, healthy smile.

Happy Teeth, Happy Life

Investing in your smile and dental health can have major effects on your overall quality of life. No one should have to suffer through the pain of a weakened tooth. That’s why the dental crown process has been helpful to so many people across the country.

Contact us today to schedule a dental crown visit or consultation. We’ll ensure your quality of care and leave you with a bright, healthy smile.