Dental crowns are common these days. In many cases, they're deployed save teeth that would otherwise need to be extracted. They are a type of prosthetic that, once fitted, can last for many years. If your dentist has recommended fitting one, you may well be wondering what is involved. Read on to find out.
During a consultation, which might be a straightforward check-up rather than an appointment for a specific problem, your dentist will assess the extent of tooth damage and come to a decision as to whether a crown would be an appropriate treatment. They may also take X-rays although this isn't always necessary if the damage to the tooth is obvious but not yet severe. Such imaging systems only tend to come into play when the onset of decay is extensive and root canal treatments are also under consideration. Note that the initial consultation will also establish whether or not just one, or multiple dental crowns, will be needed.
Following the dental assessment, your dentist will start preparing the teeth in question for their dental crowns. This involves the removal of the outer portion of each tooth under an anesthetic to make room for the prosthetic. Any decayed material inside is also removed at this stage. Your dentist may use filling material, too. This provides an anchor point for dental crowns when they're fitted. Typically, this is only needed when much of the tooth has already been lost, however, so it is decided on a case-by-case basis.
The next stage is to take a tooth impression. This is done so that an exact mold for the dental crown can be formed. Impressions are usually taken using digital scanners but physical impressions still have their place. Using a shade guide, your dentist will also establish the tonal qualities of your teeth to help make sure the crown or crowns blend as seamlessly with your natural teeth as possible.
The molds are then sent to a dental laboratory because this is where specialist technicians fabricate dental crowns. Until the crown is ready, usually within a matter of weeks, not months, a temporary prosthetic will be fitted over the cavity to prevent further complications.
New Crown Fitting
Once the permanent crown has been delivered to your dentist, you will be called for your second appointment. Your dentist will begin by taking out the old crown. Before discarding it, the new, permanent dental crown will be tested to make sure it fits well. Assuming everything is in order, your dental crown or crowns will then be cemented into place, offering a permanent prosthetic solution.
For more information on dental crowns, contact a professional near you.